Dealing With Stress
Your stress level can affect your immune system, teeth, jaws, and more.
There’s a link between stress and the health of your teeth. Too much stress can affect the immune system and leave your teeth at risk for the type of bacteria that causes plaque, gum inflammation, infections and periodontal disease.
Another impact of stress may be bruxism, the term for teeth clenching or teeth grinding, usually while asleep at night. Left untreated, this constant, harsh movement of the teeth against each other can cause wear, breakage and even eventual tooth loss. The grinding can also cause serious gum abrasion, leaving your gum tissue sensitive to heat and cold.
If you’re experiencing headaches, muscle pain or soreness in the muscles of the jaw, cheek or temple area, or irritation of the cheek tissue inside of the mouth, you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep.
Talk to your dentist about your symptoms and stress levels. He may prescribe a dental night guard, which is a plastic mouth guard that puts a protective layer of space between your teeth and prevents grinding.