It’s no secret that stress has an impact on your emotional health and well-being, but did you know that it can affect your oral health too?

Americans are stressed and the problem just seems to be getting worse. In fact, approximately 44 percent of people in the United States are more stressed today than they were five years ago. Many people are fully aware of the emotional and physical consequences of a high stress life, such as anxiety and depression, but did you know that it can also affect your oral health? The following is a list from our dentist in Lawrence of a few of the ways that stress can manifest itself in your oral health:

#1. Gum Disease

Several studies have found that stress and other emotional factors play a significant role in the occurrence of gum disease in adults as it can contribute to increasing the inflammatory response of our bodies. Additionally, a link has also been found between the severity of the gum disease and the amount of stress that is being felt.

#2. Bruxism

Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, and clenching your teeth can be caused or exacerbated by anxiety and stress in many cases. Left untreated, bruxism can lead to wear, fracture of teeth and TMJ pain.

#3. Dry Mouth

Stress itself doesn’t cause dry mouth, it is more the medications that are taken to cope with stress that can reduce the production of saliva to cause dry mouth. A side effect of anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications is decreased saliva production, causing dry mouth. Your saliva is very important for continually protecting your mouth from cavities and for digestion of food. Without adequate moisture, you risk having more decay and poor food digestion.

These are just a few of the many consequences of stress on your oral health. Learn more when you stay tuned for our next blog.