How Stress Can Ruin Your Oral Health

A man holding his jaw in pain Stress affects not only your feelings, behaviors, and thoughts. You may not realize it, but too much if it can also affect your mouth, teeth, and gums. In fact, dentists can tell if you’re stressed during routine dental examinations.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, Greenwood family dentistry centers suggest watching out for these consequences:

Canker Sores

Also known as mouth ulcers, canker sores are small spots that show up inside the mouth. High stress levels can increase your risk of getting them. Studies show that they appear less when stress levels are reduced. To ease irritation, avoid eating acidic or spicy foods. You can also try a numbing medicine or ask your dentist for an ointment if you get canker sores often.

Gum Disease

Studies note that emotional factors are associated with the onset of gum disease. The severity of periodontal disease is also likely to increase if you’re feeling high amounts of stress. Research, furthermore, suggests that those who are feeling too overwhelmed with financial problems are at greater risk for the said disease.


Stress or anxiety is one of the common causes of bruxism or teeth grinding. Feelings like anger and frustration may cause you to develop signs of bruxism without knowing it. These include worn enamel, sensitive teeth, and flat-looking tips of the teeth. Treatment for bruxism may involve relieving stress or wearing a mouthguard, especially at night.

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)

This refers to conditions that affect your jaw joint, with stress as one contributing factor. In most cases, overwhelming situations can worsen TMD due to clenching or grinding of teeth. You may also experience other symptoms of TMD such as clicking of the jaw and jaw joint pain. It is best to manage your stress levels or see your dentist for treatment options.

Don’t let stress affect your oral health. Fight stress with daily exercise, counseling, or mediation. Don’t forget to brush and floss daily, and eat a balanced diet.