Most people don’t realize it, but according to dentist Columbia SC Dr. Gregory Wych, too much stress can have an effect on your entire body, including your mouth, teeth, and gums.
Stress-related oral health problems may include:
- Mouth sores, such as canker sores and cold sores;
- Clenching or grinding your teeth;
- Not taking care of your teeth;
- Eating a bad diet;
- Gum disease;
- Bad habits like chewing your nails or other objects;
Let’s take a look at some of the more common oral health problems that can be stress-related and discuss how to fight them.
Canker sores, which are non-contagious small ulcers with a white or grayish base and bordered in red, often appear inside the mouth, sometimes in pairs or even greater numbers. To reduce further irritation, refrain from eating spicy, hot foods or foods with a high acid content, such as tomatoes or citrus fruits. For immediate relief, try an over-the-counter topical anesthetic.
Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are contagious. These are fluid-filled blisters that often appear on or around the lips, but can also be found under the nose or around the chin. You should start treatment as soon as you notice the cold sore forming.
Stress often causes patients to subconsciously clench and grind their teeth, during the day and/or at night. Your dentist Columbia SC may recommend a night guard that is worn when you sleep.
Being under extreme stress may affect your mood, causing you to skip brushing, flossing, and rinsing.Just reminding yourself of the importance of hygiene and healthy eating may help. A regular exercise routine can relieve stress, increase your energy levels, and inspire you to eat healthier.
Even short-term stress can mean more dental plaque, and long-term, the stress can boost the likelihood of bleeding gums, or gingivitis, which can progress to serious gum disease.Eating a balanced diet, seeing your dentist Columbia SC regularly, and practicing good oral hygiene help keep gum disease at bay.
Stress can lead to depression. Learning how to handle stress can help tame the risk of gum problems getting worse. Talk to a health care or mental health professional if you think you’re becoming depressed.
If you feel that your oral health may be suffering due to the effects of stress, contact your dentist Columbia SC Dr. Gregory Wych today to schedule a consultation and let’s get you back on a healthy track!