How Stress Damages Your Teeth
Stress is bad for a variety of reasons, as it impacts our well-being and also many aspects of our health. Our teeth are one such example of something in our bodies that can fall victim to the effects of stress.
Many times we are not necessarily conscious of the effects of stress. Bruxism, which is characterized by either grinding or clenching your teeth as you sleep, is a condition that has definitely been linked to stress. Serious damage to the teeth and the jaw can be done by this behavior. The damage from bruxism can be greatly reduced by wearing a night guard, but many patients are not even aware that they suffer from bruxism until much damage has already been done. Even more troubling, is that bruxism is believed to be a cause of TMJ, a painful condition affecting the joint that connects our jaw to our skulls.
Stress has also been known to cause dry mouth. Our saliva is important for maintaining strong teeth, as it remineralizes our teeth and also washes away harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay. The thing about stress is that it is closely linked to depression. Many of the medications used to treat depression also cause dry mouth, further making our teeth more vulnerable to experiencing decay.
Stress also tends to make us neglectful in practicing good oral hygiene. A person who is stressed often feels there is not enough time to properly brush and floss their teeth, therefore failing to remove the plaque and bacteria that cause tooth decay. In addition to that, it may also lead to us forgetting how important it is to visit the dentist every six months for a professional exam and cleaning.
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