Holiday Stress May Affect Your Teeth

Holiday stresses are many, and now you are wondering if you need to worry about your teeth? On top of gift buying, traveling, family visits, do you need a holiday wish list for your teeth? A simple dental examination at Glenwood Smiles by our Raleigh dentists usually reveals if a patient is stressed.

Stress is usually associated with high blood pressure and hypertension, but stress also causes involuntary symptoms that affect oral health. One example is teeth grinding. Teeth grinding is a way our bodies try to release excess tension. However, teeth grinding not only permanently damages teeth, it may cause headaches and ear and jaw pain. High stress should be discussed with your regular medical doctor because other health problems may be causing stress. When it comes to your dental health, our dentists in Raleigh can review different options for alleviating the effects of teeth grinding. One common method is a simple night guard. A night guard prevents teeth from grinding together while you sleep. If extensive damage has been caused by grinding, our dentists may recommend additional corrective options.

Dry mouth is also symptomatic of stress. Have you ever prepared to give a presentation and suddenly became very thirsty? Developing dry mouth may not seem threatening, but long-term stress and prolonged dry mouth create an environment rich for bacteria to flourish. As a result, oral health becomes compromised. Without proper levels of saliva, bacteria are not carried away naturally. Gingivitis and tooth decay typically develop as a result of dry mouth. Regular visits to our Raleigh dentist office for routine cleanings help minimize the effects of dry mouth. Plus, our dentists can review fluoride rinses that help manage chronic dryness.

Canker sores may also develop from stress. Canker sores are very small ulcers that appear on the gums or interior cheeks of one’s mouth. Another reason it is important to see your medical doctor in addition to our Raleigh dentists is that canker sores may develop as a result of other health problems or vitamin deficiencies. Really busy during the holidays? Not enough time to eat properly? The stress combined with a vitamin deficiency may contribute to the appearance of canker sores. Our Raleigh dentists may be able to prescribe special rinses that help minimize the pain from canker sores and increase healing time.

When you visit our Raleigh dentist office we ask if you are taking any prescription medications. This is not only important for our medical records should we need to administer sedation, but some prescriptions are known to cause dry mouth and canker sores. Knowing this information in advance can help treat the uncomfortable symptoms you may experience and alert you to check with your doctor for alternative prescriptions. Work toward lower stress year-round and not just around the holidays. Keep your scheduled cleanings with our dentists and we can help prevent serious problems before they develop.

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