Americans are more stressed than ever. In fact, a recent national survey conducted by the American Psychological Association says that for the first time since the organization began its annual survey, researchers saw a significant statistical increase in stress levels.
Stress affects so many parts of our lives, but one area you may not realize it affects is the mouth. It can cause problems that range from simply annoying to downright painful.
Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is a very common problem. It can be a side effect of many medications and a symptom of many medical conditions, including stress. Dry mouth can be a problem for your teeth because saliva plays an important role in washing bacteria and debris from the mouth while protecting your teeth.
Bruxism: Teeth Grinding
Grinding of the teeth, also called bruxism, and clenching of the jaw can be very damaging. Before you assume you don’t have this problem, keep in mind for many people it occurs only during sleep. Since so many people are not aware they are grinding their teeth, it’s important to pay attention to the signs that this could be occurring.
TMJ disorder can occur as a result of teeth grinding, among many other causes. Stress can cause overuse of the jaw muscles along with tension in the muscles that are connected to the shoulders, neck and jaws.
Ulcers in the mouth, sometimes called canker sores, can be triggered by periods of stress. Thankfully, even though they can be painful and annoying, they usually disappear on their own after a week or two. Avoid spicy and acidic foods when you get one to help avoid extra pain and discomfort.
If stress is causing any of these problems for your teeth and mouth, call Dr. Collins’ office today at 509-368-7788 so he can help stop the damage before it’s too late.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788