woman holding her head stressed out in the office

It is easy to get caught up in the day to day grind of our lives and let little things get to you in a major way. Normally people think stress causes damage to your mental health, but it can actually do your body physical harm as well, especially to your mouth. Here are some things to watch out for, and what you can do to preserve your dental health in stressful times.

Teeth Grinding

Speaking of the daily grind, teeth grinding is how a lot of people respond to stress, and could cause permanent damage to your teeth and temporomandibular joint. If you damage your TMJ it could damage nerves that run along your jaw leading to migraines and shoulder pains among a multitude of other issues. The best way to combat teeth grinding is to wear a dental appliance at night to prevent teeth grinding while you sleep. During the day it is best to try and keep a bit of distance between your top and bottom jaw to try and avoid clenching and grinding while you are awake.

Mouth Sores

There are two different kinds of sores that are triggered by the adverse effects of stress: canker sores and cold sores. Canker sores are small spots that pop up inside of your mouth and generally have a gray base and red, irritated borders. While there is some debate on the exact cause of canker sores, many experts agree that these annoying sores appear due to issues with the immune system. While under stress, your body’s immune system has to work harder to fight off bacteria and germs, which may lead to canker sores. For immediate relief, you can find over-the-counter numbing medication, but if this is a regular problem for you, your dentist can prescribe a steroid ointment. It is best to avoid spicy or acidic foods while the canker sores are present as this can make them painfully irritated. Luckily, canker sores only last for around a week.

Cold sores, on the other hand, are caused by the herpes simplex virus. These painful sores appear around the mouth and lower nose, and are often filled with fluid. Unfortunately, cold sores can be transferred to other people, so while they only generally last for a week to ten days, it is best to visit a doctor or dentist to get anti-viral medication to treat the condition.

Dental Hygiene

It is easy to skip your daily routines while you are feeling down, this includes your daily dental hygiene practices. It is important while you are going through trying times to maintain your dental health by brushing at least twice per day and flossing at least once per day. Also, try to avoid sugary foods and consider healthy alternatives instead. If you let your dental health slip, it will only cause more problems for you.

We also know that many people in Spokane struggle to fit a visit to the dentist into their busy schedule. That’s why we work hard to keep on schedule and reduce your wait time.

Don’t Let Stress Rule You

It is easier said than done, but it is important to not let stress run your life and risk your dental health. Be sure to take a break from the grind and do some activities that you love. If you find that stress has been putting a dent in your dental health please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at Collins Dentistry and Aesthetics today at (509) 532-1111.