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How Stress Impacts Oral Health

American citizens are all under an increased amount of stress due to the COVID-19 crisis. We know that stress can cause a lot to our bodies. But do you know how it can impact your oral health? Dr. Kevin Welinsky of Welinsky Dental Care, a dentist in Towson, MD, lets you know the impacts to watch out for in your mouth during this time.towson, maryland dentist

Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Even if this wasn’t a problem you’ve had before, teeth grinding or clenching is a common sign of stress. It may happen at night or even subconsciously during the day. You may find yourself doing it without realizing it is happening. This can lead to a number of consequences. It tends to lead to jaw pain and tension throughout your face and head.

More serious, however, is the potential of cracked or chipped teeth. While this can be a simple cosmetic issue, it can also be very serious. A severe break can expose the pulp of your tooth, leading to a lot of pain. If this happens, it’s considered a dental emergency and you should call us immediately. We’re still providing emergency dental care during the pandemic.

TMJ Disorders

Teeth grinding and clenching can also be a cause of a further problem with your jaw. TMJ disorders can cause issues like your jaw popping and clicking, trouble eating or talking, and difficulty opening and closing your mouth. This is due to trauma or misalignment of the jaw. There are massage techniques you can utilize to help with the symptoms. Try some of these until you can be seen in the office. For more information on how we diagnose and treat TMJ disorders, visit TMJ Treatment.

Oral Hygiene Issues

With so much going on, focus on oral hygiene can fall by the wayside. We’re out of our normal routines, and some things may get forgotten. Try to incorporate a new routine that includes brushing and flossing. Without this, you risk tooth decay, which means cavities and further issues. You don’t want your smile to be ruined during this crisis.

Decreased Immune Response

One of the biggest problems with stress is that it decreases your body’s immune response. This makes you more susceptible to things like gum disease. The bacteria from gum disease can get into your bloodstream due to the gum disease symptom of bleeding gums. This can lead to problems in other parts of your body.

In addition, inflammation from gum disease can impact your immune system as well. Your body is fighting that inflammation constantly. Therefore, it doesn’t have as many resources to fight the other things that your body might come across.

Your Towson, Maryland Dentist

Make sure that the stress during the pandemic hasn’t impacted your oral health. When the pandemic is over, schedule an appointment online or give us a call. We hope to see you soon!