National Relaxation Day – Stress & Oral Health
Today is National Relaxation Day! Most of us have plenty of stressful events throughout our lives that cause us tension and the inability to relax. Stress can have negative effects on your overall health, but it can also have significant negative effects on our oral health. Stress can be a major contributing factor to many dental problems including:
Long-term stress can weaken your immune system. A weakened immune system contributes to the risk of having inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and developing gum disease (Periodontal Disease).
Stress contributes to temporomandibular joint disorders, known as TMJ or TMD. Stress and Bruxism are common causes of TMJ disorder. The trauma from grinding the teeth as well as anxiety and depression are common triggers.
Bruxism is the grinding and clenching of your teeth mostly while you sleep. Stress can bring Bruxism and can cause your teeth to become chipped, cracked, and loose.
Although these shallow lesions have an unknown cause, research suggests several factors including the likelihood of being stress induced. Canker sores are shallow lesions at the corners of the lips and are generally harmless, but they can be quite painful. They are believed to be stress induced.
Dry Mouth Syndrome
Dry Mouth Syndrome (Xerostomia) occurs when the mouth isn’t producing enough saliva. Dry Mouth Syndrome can result from conditions caused by stress or medications used to treat anxiety and depression.
Burning Mouth Syndrome
Burning Mouth Syndrome, by definition, is a burning sensation on the tongue, lips, gums or palate. Though the direct cause is unknown, stress is one of the triggers for burning mouth syndrome.
Viral infections due to stress can trigger a reaction called Lichen Planus. It produces white, lacy patches or lines in the mouth, which can be unpleasant and painful.
All of these symptoms show the indirect ways stress can influence your oral health. For this National Relaxation Day, we would like to remind everyone to stay vigilant on your daily oral hygiene routine during periods of high stress. If you are concerned that stress is affecting your teeth and gums, contact Westchase Premier Dental at (813) 475 – 4528.