Patients who are under stress may not maintain their oral hygiene as properly as they did before. Stressed patients may also wake up with headaches and jaw soreness from grinding their teeth at night. If you have noticed any of these dental issues arise, contact Drs. Sara and John Gotwalt. Call their Lititz, Pennsylvania, dental office at 717-220-4651 or schedule an appointment online.
Oral Health Problems Tied to Stress
Mouth Sores: Canker or cold sores that may be caused by emotional stress can feel painful and uncomfortable for patients. If you have a mouth sore, at-home remedies are best. Swish warm salt water in your mouth and use topical anesthetic products. Avoid acidic or spicy foods until the sore goes away.
TMJ: Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, is a dental problem that is often intensified by stress. Common TMJ symptoms include clenching and grinding teeth which can cause headaches, jaw pain, and tooth damage. To treat TMJ, we recommend a mouthguard that can be worn at night to stop further damage and pain.
Poor Oral Hygiene and Diet: Patients who are stressed may not be giving themselves the time to eat healthily or brush and floss regularly. A poor diet can cause a lack of vitamins and nutrients, which not only benefit your physical health but also your oral health. Make sure you are supplementing your health with vitamins and add more nutritious foods to your diet.
Gum Disease: Being under stress can affect your immune system and can cause damage to your gums. Gum disease is an oral health problem that can cause gum recession and even tooth loss. We provide treatment to remove bacteria from beneath the gum line and help reattach the gums to teeth to prevent tooth loss. For patients with gingivitis or gum inflammation, we may prescribe antibacterial rinses.
Dry mouth: Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva. Remember to hydrate often and even eat foods with high water content like fruits and vegetables to receive the benefits of hydration and saliva production. You may also use an alcohol-free mouth wash to prevent dry mouth.