Stress and your Oral Health

We know that excessive stress can give you a headache, stomachache and even heart problems, but what you may not realize is that stress can affect your oral health as well.

According to WebMD stress and anxiety can affect you in the following ways:

  • Mouth sores, including canker sores and cold sores
  • Clenching of teeth and teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Poor oral hygiene and unhealthy eating routines
  • Periodontal (gum) disease or worsening of existing periodontal disease

Mouth sores such as canker sores can be painful and bothersome.

WebMD Defines Canker sores as “small ulcers with a white or grayish base and bordered in red — appear inside the mouth, sometimes in pairs or even greater numbers. Although experts aren’t sure what causes them — it could be immune system problems, bacteria, or viruses — they do think that stress, as well as fatigue and allergies, can increase the risk of getting them. Canker sores are not contagious.”

Relief can be found by the use of  over-the-counter topical anesthetics and by limiting your ingestion of spicy or acidic foods until they heal.

Cold sores are are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are contagious. They can also be triggered by an emotional upset.  Over the counter remedies are available.  It’s important to start treatment as soon as you notice the cold sore.  Talk to our office as soon as you can.

Stress may make you clench and grind your teeth and can lead to problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).  Contact us and ask what can be done to prevent grinding problems associated with stress.  Dr. Brogdon may recommend a night guard that you wear at night when you sleep or may have other suggestions for you.

Remember, stress can affect your health in many ways.  Call us today and let us help you with stress associated with your oral health.

 

The Daily Grind – Bruxism

Do you sometimes find yourself clinching your teeth, or do you grind your teeth in your sleep? Maybe you wake up in the morning with a dull headache or jaw soreness with pain in your face that you can’t explain.  If you’ve experienced any of these problems you may be suffering from a condition known as Bruxism or more commonly known as teeth grinding.

According to www.colgate.com – Bruxism is clenching or grinding your teeth. Most people are not even aware that they are doing this. In the United States, bruxism affects about 30 million to 40 million children and adults.

In adults, most cases of bruxism are caused by stress and anxiety.  Other causes are sleep disorders, crooked or missing teeth or an abnormal bite.  If you are suffering from stress and anxiety, find ways to help relax. Light exercise such as taking a walk or listening to calming music may help.  About 30% of children grind or clench their teeth and most of them eventually outgrow this and suffer no permanent damage.

If  bruxism in adults or children is related to dental problems, a more thorough examination may be needed.  As well as checking your “bite” (how your upper and lower teeth come together) Dr Brogdon will examine your teeth and gums for damage and may take x-rays of your jaws and teeth.  He may have to adjust your teeth alignment.

Ask Dr Brogdon about fitting you for a mouthguard (a dental appliance) that you can wear at night to help protect your teeth while you sleep.  In some cases this may be all you need.

We live in a stressful world.  Call us today at 423-870-5698 and let us at Brogdon Dental help relieve a little of your daily grind!