With the current COVIS-19 crisis, stress is increasing with just about everyone. But did you know that can have a substantial impact on your oral health? Dr. Kami and Kevin Marr of Marr Family Dentistry, a dentist office in Greeley, CO, discuss the impact stress can have on your oral health.
Teeth Grinding and Clenching
With stress comes more grinding and clenching your teeth — whether you realize it or not. This can be done at night when you’re sleeping, or subconsciously when you’re awake. This can lead to a lot of pain in your jaw and face, as well as headaches, especially upon waking up. Earaches are common as well.
As far as the physical impact on your teeth, grinding and pressure on them obviously increases wear and tear. They may also chip, crack, or break. Chips and cracks range from cosmetic to serious and painful, exposing the pulp of the tooth. Even with the pandemic, don’t worry — we can still perform emergency procedures, should a dental emergency happen to you.
One of the symptoms of TMJ disorders is the grinding and clenching of teeth. Prolonged teeth grinding can lead to problems with the jaw joint. You may notice that you’re having pain while eating or talking. Your jaw can pop and click and you may notice more difficulty opening and closing your mouth. Stress also makes TMJ disorders worse.
Mouth Sores and Ulcers
Stress can bring on sores and ulcers in the inside of your mouth. These are caused by infections in the mouth. Rinse frequently with warm salt water to keep the areas clean. If you have antiseptic oral gel, that can be applied to help. Use over the counter pain relievers if there’s pain, and make sure to avoid spicy and acidic foods that might make things worse.
Decreased Immune Response
Unfortunately, the increase in stress also leads our immune system to struggle. And we want our immune systems to be as prepared as possible right now. A decreased immune response means a higher probability of gum disease. The oral bacteria that cause the disease can also get in through bleeding gums and can spread throughout the body.
Oral Health Care at Your Dentist in Greeley, Colorado
If you suffer from an emergency, please call us immediately. And try to keep up your oral hygiene routine throughout these trying times. We’ll be here and ready for a checkup when the pandemic is done. Call us or schedule an appointment online.