Don't Let Stress Ruin Your Smile
Posted on 11/25/2015 by Jolie
|We all know that too much stress isn't good for us and can even be detrimental to our health. However, have you ever considered what stress could do to your mouth and teeth? It's true; many of the stress-related activities and habits that we experience can lead to problems with the mouth. Don't let stress negatively impact your smile!
Nail BitingDo you find yourself biting your nails when you are stressed out? This can be a big problem for your teeth. Biting your nails can cause your teeth to wear down over time, resulting in flattened and uneven biting surfaces. If you have a tendency to bite in once particular spot, you will be putting a prolonged and concentrated force onto that portion of your teeth, and you could cause a break.
If you are a chronic nail biter, talk to your dentist about signs of wear and tear on your teeth, and work toward kicking the habit. Some people have success with a bitter tasting nail polish in order to deter chewing, while others may simply keep their nails short to start with so that there is less temptation to bite.
Grinding Your TeethStress can cause you to clench and grind the teeth, and while some people do this during the day while they are awake, most do it at night while they are asleep, making it difficult to control. Frustration, anger, and nervous tension can cause you to grind, and this can take a major toll on your teeth. If you are grinding at night, you might not even realize it, but some important signs to look for include chewing surfaces that appear flat, rubbed down enamel, and indentations of the tongue.
If you feel that you may be grinding your teeth, you should be sure to consult with your dentist. While he or she may be able to tell you the level of damage, you can also invest in a custom night guard that will protect your teeth from the effects of grinding. These guards will keep your teeth from touching each other by placing a soft plastic barrier between them.
Developing Mouth SoresCanker sores are small white or gray spots that appear inside of your mouth. They often show up in pairs or clusters, and while experts aren't sure of what causes them, stress will raise your likelihood of developing them. To ease discomfort, avoid acidic and spicy foods and use over the counter pain medications. They should go away on their own within a week, but if they last longer or appear chronically, you may want to consult with your dentist for guidance.
Skipping Your Dental Hygiene RoutineAre you so stressed that you are failing to take basic measures to care for yourself, including your mouth? If you are under extreme stress, you might start skipping brushing and flossing altogether, but unfortunately, you will only be raising your chance of developing gum disease or cavities. Being stressed may also cause you to pick up unhealthy habits like snacking on sugar-packed foods or drinks, which will raise your risk of developing decay even further.
It is crucial that you remind yourself about the importance of proper oral care, even in times of stress. Caring for your teeth now will prevent the need for future and possibly expensive dental work, and this could motivate you to make a change. Getting into a regular exercise program can also relieve you of your stress, making you feel more motivated to care for yourself.
Do you have questions about how your stress level and related habits might be impacting your oral health? Schedule an appointment with us today.