Are You Stressed? Your Mouth Can Tell, Literally

It’s not just the bags under your eyes or the zits on your face giving away how stressed you are. Your mouth can, too. But not in the way of words (or rants, rather). But in the form of problems on your teeth and gums.

Here are the ways stress wreaks havoc on oral health.

You grind your teeth

Anxiety is notorious for triggering bruxism, the medical term for teeth grinding. Some believe that it’s a coping mechanism. When people under intense pressure can’t find an outlet to diffuse their stress, they resort to clenching their teeth, usually without them knowing it.

It alleviates some of the negative feelings, but when it becomes a habit, it can damage the teeth. It specifically wears down the enamel, the protective layer of the tooth. When that happens, you may be more prone to sensitivity.

It’s important to stop bruxism before it causes more serious problems. The only problem here is most people are unaware that they indeed grind their teeth precisely because it often occurs during sleep. If you experience headaches in the morning or pains in the jaw quite frequently, that should make you suspicious about your nighttime habit. Visit your dentist and ask for a custom mouth guard.

You get tooth decays

When you’re swamped with too much work or family drama, proper hygiene is one of the things that take a backseat. You probably retire to bed as soon as you get home, without care about brushing your teeth. Or, you may be spending your midnights binge-eating on sugary food for comfort.

All these can put you at risk for tooth decays. And if you’ve been delaying removal of your wisdom teeth at a West Valley, Utah clinic, you’re more vulnerable to such problems. There’s no other way around proper, regular hygiene. No shortcuts. No excuses. You really have to commit to its discipline.

Now, if stress is what’s keeping you from being on track, then you have to address this. Two things you can do: avoid it or face it head on smartly. For instance, if too much work is what’s stressing you out, you can “avoid” it by delegating some tasks to your colleagues. Or, you can “face it head on smartly” by using technologies, for example, to make work easier. With stress addressed, you’ll hopefully have the energy and the time to take care of your oral health.

Your gums bleed

Stress makes it harder for the body to produce immune cells that would fight bacteria. This, coupled with the fact that you’re more likely to skip proper hygiene, will allow microorganisms to grow and cause inflammation. Later, you may find yourself suffering from gum infections and diseases.

You may notice bleeding gums when brushing teeth. Or, you feel like your teeth are shifting or getting loose. Don’t dismiss this, as these are the early signs of gingivitis. Consult your dentist for medications. Talk to a therapist as well for effective stress-relieving techniques.

How are you coping with stress? Your mouth perhaps can “speak” for you. If you experience these things mentioned above, you have a lot more to do in the stress management department.