What You can do to prevent Oral Health problems related to Stress
Mouth sores, or canker sores are small ulcers that appear on the soft tissues inside or just outside the mouth; usually the cheeks, palate, tongue or lips. They are usually related to bacteria activity or viruses and appear when one’s immune system is compromised. Stress, fatigue and allergies also increase a patients risk of developing mouth sores. There is a difference between canker sores, which are not contagious, and cold sores or fever blisters. The latter is caused by the Herpes Simplex virus and is contagious. You can purchase topical creams and anesthetic gels to help combat these blights and their painful symptoms.
• Teeth grinding or Bruxism
Teeth grinding is a classic symptom of stress and it can utterly wreck your teeth. Usually, people do it unconsciously or at night while they are asleep. Over time, bruxism can totally wear away the enamel of the teeth rendering them incredibly vulnerable to decay and cavities. If you grind your teeth at night, have a mouth guard fitted and wear it.
• Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD)
Bruxism and jaw clenching put undue stress on the joint that connects the mandible (lower jaw) to the maxilla (upper jaw). This can cause the tendons and muscles to become inflamed and painful, making your jaw feel stiff and sore. TMD can also cause powerful migraines. If you suffer from these kinds of symptoms, speak to your dentist about preventive treatment. There is no ‘cure’ for TMD, but there are measures you can take to reduce the symptoms and then eliminate the problem.
Stay tuned for the Ask the Dentist: Is Stress Affecting Your Oral Health? Part 2 of the series to read more information on how stress can severely affect your oral health and hygiene from your Dentist in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.