Maryland Periodontics and Dental Implants
7902 Old Branch Ave., Suite 209
Clinton, MD 20735
(301) 856-1200


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Stress(ed) Out Mouth

How Stress Negatively Affects Oral Health.

No one needs to be reminded we live in difficult times. Confinement, fears and feelings of uncertainty compounded by regular, everyday problems have increased levels of stress to our daily lives.

Stress is a common cause of many health problems. Your oral health is no exception. Stress can impact your oral health routine and diet, increasing the risk of problems like tooth decay.

Call (301) 856-1200 to schedule your periodontal evaluation today!

Stress can lead to many oral health problems.

Oral Health Problems & Stress:

  • Gum Disease – Stress lowers the immune system and increases the risk for infection in the mouth like gum disease.
  • Teeth Grinding – Grinding or Clenching often occurs during the night causing damage to the teeth and enamel. This can lead to headaches and soreness in the jaw. Dentists may recommend a night guard to protect the teeth from damage.
  • Dry Mouth – The mouth’s first line of defense against bacteria is saliva. Without saliva there is an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease and infection. Dry mouth is a side effect of stress. Medicines used to treat stress and depression may, also, cause dry mouth.
  • Canker Sores – Canker sores are harmless but can be painful. They will usually go away on their own within 1-2 weeks, or a dentist may prescribe a topical treatment or rinse.
  • Tooth Decay – Poor oral health routines, unhealthy lifestyle choices and conditions such as dry mouth increase the risk of tooth decay.

Stress can impact your oral health routine and diet, increasing the risk of problems like tooth decay.

Dr. Karen Yurell
Goodness Dental

Tips to Reduce the Impact of Stress on Your Oral Health:

  • Prevention – Establish a daily routine of brushing and flossing your teeth to prevent the build-up of plaque.
  • Lifestyle – Choose healthy foods, less sugar and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. If you do eat sugar, smoke or drink alcohol, brushing your teeth after these habits will reduce damage to your teeth.
  • Exercise – Yoga and relaxation techniques are calming and reduce the strain on jaw muscles.
  • Mouth Guards – When patients clench their teeth, night guards place a barrier between the upper and lower jaw to lighten the tension and give cushion to the muscles in the jaw. The cushioning helps prevent face and jaw pain, but also, protects tooth enamel.
  • Regular Dental Visits –  The American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist every six months for regular cleanings. During the six month dental check-up, a dentist will check the mouth for any trouble areas and make recommendations on treatment needed.


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