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How can Stress Impact your Oral Health?

  It’s common knowledge that stress can play a major role in the upkeep of both mental and overall physical health; however, the impact that can be had upon your dental health is a factor commonly overlooked. There are varying factors linked to stress that can cause serious implications to your oral hygiene if not acted upon, possibly leading to the development of more serious problems, such as gum disease, in the future. Those dealing with heightened levels of stress are more likely to carry out actions that could be considered damaging to their dental health, or skip actions needed to maintain good oral hygiene, such as brushing their teeth, altogether. Those experiencing heightened levels of stress are more prone to regularly partake in activities that could cause potential harm to their teeth and gums, such as smoking and the consumption of alcohol. These bad habits are very well known for the implications they can hold for the upkeep of good dental health, making the development of issues such as gum disease much more likely. Teeth Grinding, also commonly referred to as Bruxism, can also be a very common side effect in those dealing with high levels of stress. While this is an issue that can be linked to several different triggers, such as missing or crooked teeth, or even certain medical conditions, stress is unarguably the most common cause. However, as this is a problem that most commonly occurs while sleeping, it can be difficult to tell whether or not you’re a sufferer of this condition, making it more challenging to break the habit. An aching jaw or constant, dull headache can often be a tell-tale sign of Bruxism; your dentist should also be able to indicate any abnormalities in your teeth that could help to diagnose this problem. If left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to the breaking and wearing down of teeth over time, meaning cosmetic dentistry treatments such as crowns may need to be considered. In more severe cases, this issue has been known to results in major implications to an individual’s overall health, causing hearing loss in some cases. If you believe you may be suffering from teeth grinding as a result of stress, it is important to work towards reducing overall levels of anxiety and stress, as this could be key to overcoming the issue. Implementing small changes to your everyday routine, especially within the hours leading up to sleep, can have a huge impact upon the rate at which you grind your teeth, assisting in the relaxation of jaw muscles and helping to alleviate stress. Even small changes to your regular routine, such as taking a bath before sleeping, can help to greatly reduce heightened stress levels, helping both you, and your jaw, to relax. To conclude, while there are many factors know to impact oral health as a result of stress, teeth grinding is one of the most common side effects linked to stress that’s known to have great implications to the overall health of teeth and gums. While there are no immediate cures for Bruxism, there are ways in which the effects of this condition can be greatly minimised, helping to maintain a healthier smile. If you believe you may be suffering from this condition, visit our dedicated teeth grinding page and discover what our Tamworth Dental Practice can do to help you.      

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