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7 Ways Stress Affects Your Oral Health

7 Ways Stress Affects Your Oral Health

Posted by:  Admin
21st February, 2020

Stress proves harmful for mental health. It also takes a severe toll on your teeth and the gums, says Dr Wahab Shakir – a renowned dentist in London who is also associated with the Museum Dental Suites. Even a recently conducted research shows strong interconnection between fast failing oral health and long-term stress. It shows the commonest dental issues that are related to mental stress include the following:

  • Burning mouth syndrome: Burning mouth syndrome is a painful condition affecting your teeth and the gums. The issue takes a severe toll on the structural integrity of your otherwise healthy teeth. It is a common oral health problem among females. Smoking and regular consumption of alcohol can worsen the problem.

  • TMJ disorder: TMJ is the shortened form of Temporomandibular joint syndrome. It results in swelling pain, stiffness and popping the lower jaw region, especially below the ears. It occurs because of excessive use of the jaw muscles. A TMJ patient usually damages his teeth by clenching and grinding.

  • Nail biting: Biting on nails is a very common gesture under stressful circumstances. Top dental hygienists in London point out the harmful effects of nail biting. The major effects are - 1) It facilitates spreading of warts from your finger tips to the mouth. & 2) Harmful and disease-causing microbes present in your nails easily get into your stomach.

  • Teeth grinding and clenching: In dental jargon or terminology, clenching and grinding of the teeth is called Bruxism. The worse thing about it is that you may not even know that you suffer from the problem. This is because clenching and grinding of the teeth occur mostly at night when you are deeply asleep. Usually people become aware about the problem when their teeth suddenly become very sensitive or the teeth tips turn flatter. In many cases people suffering from bruxism also have sore jaws. If you are facing any of these issues just visit your dentist for an expert opinion. A qualified dentist possesses the right skills and knowledge to recognise the problem of bruxism. Usually patients are given carefully customised mouth guards to wear before going to bed at night to avoid the damage to the teeth. Bruxism cannot be taken lightly; else it can have severe negative impact on your overall oral health within a very short time. When left untreated, it can also trigger problems like sleeping disorder, chronic pain in the jaws, severe headache and loose or broken tooth.

  • Periodontal disease or gum problem: Long-term stress or nervous tension damages your natural immune system. As a result, you become more prone to infections including tooth decay, bad breath and even bleeding gums. Harmful bacteria that are responsible for gum problems can easily enter your blood stream to cause a stroke and heart disease. You must visit a dentist immediately if your gums are swollen.

  • Canker sores: Ulcers in the mouth are painful. If you suffer from the problem frequently, your body lacks Vitamin B and you suffer from chronic stress. Sores in the mouth are also caused due to allergic infections triggered by harmful bacteria present in the mouth, hormonal imbalance in the body, sensitivity to a chemical present in commercially manufactured toothpastes – sodium lauryl sulphate.

  • Dry mouth: This problem occurs when the saliva glands present in the mouth fail to produce sufficient saliva to keep the mouth moist. According to experienced dentists, the major cause of this problem is stress while certain medications may also be responsible in some cases. Moreover, stress can make you breathe through the mouth instead of the nose. This cuts of saliva flow. In acute dry mouth conditions, you may face difficulties with your taste buds, chewing, swallowing and even speaking. Patients suffering from dry mouth are more likely to develop Tooth decay, Teeth sensitivity, Demineralisation of the teeth, and Various types of infection in the mouth.

    Drinking large quantity of water throughout the day and specially formulated mouthwash are two effective ways to minimise the problem of dry mouth condition. But it is more important to address the underlying factor that causes the problem like stress, diabetes, certain allergies and medication.

To get rid of any of the problems discussed above, you are free to consult our private dentist at the Museum Dental Suites. We are located at Great Russell Street in Holborn, London.


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My dentist Dr. Wahab Shakir was particularly great, with a friendly, reassuring manner and an eye for detail. He always went above and beyond, without ever being asked.

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