This is how stress affects a person's oral health. 

Three ways that stress impacts teeth

Three ways that stress impacts teeth


OMG Admin

May 12,2021

Stress is something that should not be taken lightly. What many people do not know is that stress affects not only mental health but also teeth.

The American Dental Association reports that more than 70 percent of dentists are seeing an increase in patients experiencing stress-related dental problems. 

That is why our Level 1 sedation Texas team wants to shine some light on how stress may be affecting a patient's oral health. 

What you need to know about stress

Stress is a natural thing. The Cleveland Clinic says that stress occurs when you experience changes or stressors. As a result, your body produces physical and mental responses. It helps your body adjust to change, stay alert and motivated. 

Just as positive as stress can be, it can also be harmful. Experiencing stress for long periods of time without relaxation can cause the wear and tear of the body. It may cause stress-related dental problems over time. If left untreated, it can cause the decay of your teeth. 

Stress-related dental problems

Teeth grinding

Does your patient express to you that they suffer from frequent headaches or stiffness in the jaw while chewing? They might suffer from teeth grinding, also referred to as Bruxism, which is a condition that causes a person to clench or grind their teeth unconsciously. 

Those with this condition may clench or grind their teeth throughout the day or in the night while they are sleeping. Anxiety and stress are common causes of teeth grinding. Dentists can provide treatments like mouthguards and splints. 


Gum disease

The gums play an important role in your mouth. It serves as a seal around the teeth to protect the sensitive tissue and nerves underneath. Although the gums protect, they can still get infected. Infections in the gums are referred to as gum disease

This disease is an infection in your gums. Mild cases of gum disease, gingivitis, cause the gums to get swollen and bleed. In advanced cases of gum disease, periodontitis, patients could lose tissue and bone. Plaque buildup, nutritional deficiencies and even stress may cause gum disease.  


Temporomandibular disorders (TMD)

If your patient expresses that their jaw feels locked or stiff, they might suffer from temporomandibular disorders (TMD). The temporomandibular is a joint in the jaw that connects your lower jaw to the skull. Disorders in this joint are called temporomandibular disorders (TMD). 

People with this condition may feel pain or have difficulty moving the jaw. Arthritis, clenching the teeth and stress may all cause temporomandibular disorders. When feeling stressed, some people might clench their teeth without knowing and result in developing TMD over time.  

How a dentist can help prevent stress-related dental problems

As a dentist, you play an essential role in spotting dental problems before they become larger. Encouraging dental patients to make regular visits may help spot stress-related dental problems. This will help you provide treatment options and ways to effectively reduce stress. 

If you have an anxious patient, talk to them about Level 1 sedation. This kind of sedation is an oral sedative that helps patients to feel relaxed but still remain conscious. To administer this kind of sedation, dentists need to maintain their Level 1 sedation certification. 

Are you looking for a Level 1 sedation Texas course?

Midwest Sedation Consultants can help! We offer level 1 sedation courses taught by professionals. Visit our website to register for one of our Texas courses!