Can stress “HURT” your teeth?

We all know stress is bad for health and wellbeing. But did you know that stress not only effects your general health but also your teeth? Your mouth might be the first region that shows physical manifestations of stressful conditions. Let’s get on to understand how can you know that your oral problems are due to stress.

You get up with a sore face in the morning

If you feel soreness in your face, neck or a mild headache after waking up that gradually lessens during the day you might be suffering from a tooth condition due to stress. When an individual is under stress they tend to grind their teeth unknowingly, principally at night, this is known as Nocturnal bruxism.  Due to the constant clenching and grinding of teeth at night the muscles of the face get over used and thus are sore when you get up. On waking the clenching/grinding episodes are lesser, thus the pain reduces as the day passes.

What is important to note here is that a soreness or mild headache might be related to a dental issue that requires immediate attention of a dentist

 You are developing sensitivity

If you have suddenly started feeling a mild discomfort or a sharp shooting pain while consuming something hot/cold or sour, it might be due to stress. Unintentional grinding of the teeth might lead to the loss of the outermost layer of the tooth known as enamel, exposing the inner layers. These layers are sensitive to temperature changes in the mouth, making in very inconvenient for you to consume food at the extremes of temperatures.

This type of sensitivity would be generalized and a single tooth cannot be pointed out. If managed surgically, this treatment would be very invasive and time consuming

Find out how this condition can be reversed in early stages

You develop frequent ulcerations in your mouth

Known as Apthous ulcers they can develop on the inner sides of the cheek or the lips if you are under stress. There are generally one or two of these ulcers present at a time and might heal by itself within a week or so.

During the time they are present in the mouth, it might be difficult to eat food as when food will come in contact with the ulcer it would burn. Apthous ulcers don’t require any treatment other than some basic medication to reduce the burning sensation and improve healing   

 Is your oral ulcer not healing by itself? Has it been more than 2 weeks? Consult NOW

You feel your mouth to be dry

 Stress, among other manifestations can also result in reduced salivary production from the salivary glands. This reduced saliva can result in Dryness of the mouth. A dry mouth is the reason for various oral diseases including increased incidence of Dental cavities.

Make sure that you consume enough water, you could even chew on citrus candy/ sugar free gum to stimulate the salivary flow.

You see some white patches in your mouth

There are many reasons for white patches in the mouth. Some of them that are typically associated with tobacco consumption could be precancerous in nature. The white patch seen in the mouth due to stress is NOT a warning for cancer but of the overstimulation of immunity leading to a condition called oral lichen planus. The treatment generally involves medication after the diagnosis has been confirmed.

Do you have any of these symptoms? Then you need to follow these steps

Step 1 -Think for yourself if you are in some stress condition or what is stressing you out. Once you figure that out try to remove the stress (easier said than done)

Step 2-  Find out what’s the problem you are having from the above given list. Most of the issues that arise due to stress can be treated with medication.  Early stage sensitivity is better managed/ reversed using home care hacks rather than a surgical treatment for the same.

Step 3 -  Comply with the medicines or the treatment suggestions given to you.

If you follow the above steps, it could help you manage/ reverse the stress related oral issues that you are facing, which might make consuming food a difficult task in itself.

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