Effects of Stress on Oral Health
It is fairly well established at this point that stress has a negative impact on our overall health. A recent study indicates that stress also has a negative effect specifically on our oral health.
The study linked the effects of stress to several different oral health conditions. Bruxism, a condition that causes people to grind or clench their teeth at night, is a condition that affects many people. There are strong indications that stress is one of the key reasons people develop this disorder. Unless you treat bruxism by wearing a mouth guard at night, serious injury to your teeth and jaw can occur. Likewise, the painful disorder known as TMJ has also been linked to stress. In fact, bruxism is one of the causes of TMJ. Even when bruxism does not play a role, the anxiety caused by stress is enough to trigger symptoms of TMJ on its own. Stress has also been known to cause chronic dry mouth. While that may not sound like a big deal, chronic dry mouth can actually lead to significant tooth decay. Other conditions such as canker sores, burning mouth syndrome, gum disease, and lichen planus can all be traced back to stress as well.
Stress can also cause us to lose sleep and eat a poor diet, both of which can compromise our immune systems. Stress has even been known to cause patients to neglect their dental care, figuring that they are just too busy to be bothered by something like that. This dreadful combination is a sure-fire way to start experiencing dental problems. And the worst part about it is that dental problems are their own source of stress. Break the cycle and visit our dentist in Los Angeles for a professional exam and cleaning.
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