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How does stress affect my oral health?

Stress does not hesitate to visit us from time to time and is not one of the most pleasant encounters, since it brings with it a series of negative consequences for our health. And, in the same way that stress causes in many people headaches, fatigue or muscle contractures, there are also many people who suffer episodes of tooth pain from nerves, seeing their oral health altered.


Tooth pain from nerves: Bruxism


Bruxism is a habit that consists of clenching or grinding your teeth completely involuntarily. It is an action that many people who suffer any type of nervousness or stress and can cause chewing muscle aches or premature wear on the teeth.



In these cases, it is advisable to use dental protectors or splints during sleeping hours to prevent in this way the damage that this disorder can cause to the teeth.


Stress gingivitis


A person suffering from stress does not usually devote enough time to their dental hygiene. The loss of efficiency when brushing teeth or flossing properly can cause the accumulation of gum residue and as a consequence, its inflammation and the appearance of periodontal diseases such as gingivitis.



In order to avoid this oral disease it is important to make a correct brushing of the teeth after each meal and before going to sleep. In addition, it is advisable to renew the brush every three months as the head wears easily and loses efficiency.


Caries Appearance


This is a consequence linked to the aforementioned. Improper dental hygiene can cause tooth decay and this can cause future discomfort and mouth aches. Although at first the discomfort only appears with contact with very cold or very hot food, with the passage of time, these pains can go further and caries can destroy the affected teeth.



Foods high in sugar and acids erode enamel and can also play a very prominent role in the appearance of caries, and therefore, it is advisable not to consume them in excess.


Appearance of canker sores due to stress


The stress hormone, cortisol, weakens the immune system and can cause the appearance of thrush (or sores). They are whitish wounds that form in the gums or mucosa that can be of different sizes. In most cases, canker sores appear on the inner surfaces of the cheeks and lips, the tongue, the upper surface of the mouth and the base of the gums.


Temporomandibular Joint Disorders


With stress we tend to tighten the jaw more than normal and this can cause a temporomandibular joint disorder causing problems when opening and closing the mouth and causing pain in the jaw and also in the temple.



One of the main symptoms of this disorder is the small "click" that appears when you open your mouth. In order to eliminate this tooth ache from nerves, it is advisable to visit your trusted dentist. He will be in charge of making the diagnosis and defining the optimal treatment that you should follow for your care of your oral health.

Dr. Armellini received her dental degree from the Central University of Venezuela. She received an MBA from the University of Michigan and embarked on a clinical fellowship in Implantology Prosthodontics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.


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