Stress damages the body in more ways than you might think. Everyone knows that constant stress puts unnecessary pressure on the cardiovascular system and heart. It also causes muscles throughout the body to tighten, restricting blood flow and putting pressure on the joints. Stress affects your teeth as well and can cause damage to your teeth in two ways. First, it depletes vital nutrients and second, jaw clenching and bruxism can cause your teeth to break or shift over time.
Stress Affects Your Teeth
Let’s examine how stress affects your teeth. When you are stressed, your muscles tighten. When the muscles in the face clench, it tightens your jaw placing intense amounts of pressure on both the surface of your teeth as well as the temporomandibular joint. Both of the following conditions can cause major damage to your teeth and the bones in your jaw.
- Jaw Clenching – Constant jaw clenching can actually chip, crack or break your teeth. It can also place pressure on the joints the jaw, causing inflammation and pain.
- Bruxism – Also known as teeth grinding, can wear away the surfaces of your teeth, making it more difficult to chew your food effectively. Once the surfaces are worn away, it’s difficult for the jaws to stay in alignment.
While the effects are gradual, they can eventually cause significant damage to your teeth, jaws, and other tissues in and around the mouth.
Reducing Your Stress
Reducing your stress can protect your teeth from excessive wear and possible breakage. It’s also important to replenish the vitamins and nutrients that are often depleted by stress. This can include all of the B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients.
Related Article: How can I Stop Grinding my Teeth?
Protecting Your Teeth
If you grind your teeth or tend to clench your jaws, your dentist may recommend the use of a mouthguard while you’re sleeping. A mouthguard will keep your jaws separated and reduce any pressure placed on the joints. Because of the way the mouthguard is fitted, it will also keep your jaws in alignment.
For more than 30 years, the dentists at Ultimate Smile Design have been making appliances to protect their patients’ teeth and jaws from the effects of stress. The process starts with getting to know your needs and habits (clenching or grinding) and assessing the other factors that may get be involved in your health and life. Once the appliance is fabricated in our expert dental lab by our experienced dental technicians, it is precisely fitted for comfort and effectiveness. We will properly maintain and clean your appliance at regular intervals.
Let Ultimate Smile Design help reduce the damage to your teeth that can be caused by stress. Contact us in our Palm Bay, Florida office to schedule an appointment.