COVID-19 Stress and Oral Health

With the spread of COVID-19, people are understandably more stressed now than ever. The team at Babylon Dental Care understands your concerns and we are here for you when you need us.

Stress has negative consequences on our physical and mental health. But did you know it can even damage our oral health? Learning the warning signs of how stress could damage your teeth and gums will better prepare you to create a stress-management solution.

Stress can damage your oral health in several different ways, including the following:

1. Canker sores sometimes develop when we are stressed. They are small, painful mouth ulcers that are triggered by stress, vitamin B deficiencies, and irritations in the mouth.
2. When people are stressed, they are more likely to start biting their nails, even if that isn’t a habit they normally engage in. Nail biting is bad for oral health because it transfers whatever germs and bacteria that were under the fingernails straight to the mouth, allowing the bacteria to be ingested into your body. It can also shift your teeth, if you do it regularly, and cause infections in your mouth.
3. Teeth grinding is another bad habit spurred by stress. People generally grind their teeth in their sleep, so it can be difficult to control or even detect. But having headaches and a sore jaw might be signs that you grind your teeth. Finding ways to reduce stress in your life could help stop teeth grinding, or your dentist can make a mouth guard for you to wear at night.
4. TMJ disorder describes stress placed on the temporomandibular joints, which are the joints of your jaw just below your ears. When we are stressed, we sometimes clench our jaw and grind our teeth, which could cause these joints to swell and become irritated. You might feel jaw pain or notice your jaw joints popping.
5. Stress can cause the body’s immune system to be weakened, and this, in turn, can lead to gum disease. Gum disease can cause halitosis (bad breath), gum sensitivity, and loose teeth.
6. Some people experience burning mouth syndrome when they are stressed. Symptoms include dry mouth and a hot, burning sensation. Smoking and drinking, which some people turn to when they are stressed, often exacerbate these symptoms and make them worse. Stress reduction or anti-anxiety medication could reduce burning mouth syndrome.

Contact Babylon Dental Care

We know that during times of stress, the likelihood of dental emergencies increases tremendously. In times of anxiety, we tend to grind our teeth more and clench our jaws, often unknowingly while we sleep. If you are experiencing a dental emergency, we are here for you, so please give us a call at (631) 983-6665.

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