Is your mouth stressed out?

You are probably familiar with the effects that stress can have on your physical and mental health, like an increased risk of high blood pressure and depression. Stress can also compromise your dental health, and this is another reason to try to keep your stress levels in check.

In general, high stress levels are associated with increased inflammation. In turn, inflammation plays a key role in gum disease, which can eventually lead to tooth and/or bone loss.

Although the best dentist can effectively treat gum disease, it’s best to avoid developing the condition in the first place. Effective stress management techniques may not be able to eliminate your risk of gum disease entirely, but they can get rid of one factor that contributes to it and may exacerbate it. [pullquote]Another adverse effect of stress on your oral health is the potential for structural damage to the teeth…[/pullquote]

Another adverse effect of stress on your oral health is the potential for structural damage to the teeth that may need to be addressed by a dentist.

Did you realize that excessive amounts of stress can actually lead to damaged teeth? Many patients who are overwhelmed by stress unconsciously grind their teeth, often while they’re asleep. This causes wear and tear on the teeth, and it can cause facial pain and headaches as well.

Fortunately, teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can be addressed with a custom-designed mouthguard worn at night. The mouthguard prevents the upper and lower jaws from contacting each other, therefore curtailing the teeth grinding.

When a patient wears a custom-fitted mouthguard, the appliance has a better fit because it is specifically designed to the patient’s unique specifications. Therefore, custom-designed mouthguards tend to be more effective at reducing the effects of bruxism.

Seeing your dentist every six months for check-ups can help to keep tabs on any changes to your oral health that can be amplified by stress. And don’t get too stressed out to keep up your oral hygiene routine, because that helps to minimize oral diseases, too.

Stress can have many consequences for your smile. Contact North Shore Restorative & Implant Dentistry at 516-484-6394 to learn more about treatments that can help limit that damage.

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