How Stress Affects Dental Health

How Stress Affects Dental Health

There are many common disorders that result from stress, both mental and physical. Some of these well-known medical conditions include diabetes, coronary heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, and on the mental side; depression, Alzheimer’s and anxiety. According to the Mental Health Foundation, stress is defined as the extent to which a person experiences feeling overwhelmed or the inability to handle the external and internal pressures that present themselves. Attention has recently been drawn to what may come to some patients as a surprise effect, that of an adverse effect on teeth and gums. Fortunately for patients who suffer tooth loss, there are a diverse range of reliable dental treatments to replace missing teeth and restore mouth functions.

The role of stress in tooth loss

Tooth loss is mainly as a result of two dental conditions: untreated advanced gum disease and tooth decay. But the roads that can lead to these two causes are many and can include stress.

These dental health issues are aided by stress due to its influence on impeding proper immune functioning and secondly, stress promotes inflammation that can cause a lot of damage to the body and its organs.

The role of stress in tooth loss

The effects of stress on gum disease

Gum disease is spurred on by poor immune health and the snowball effect of inflammation. Indirectly, stress can affect the motivation of a patient’s desire to look after their hygiene and this neglect can play out in not seeking appropriate dental care at a dental clinic, leaving gum disease to progress to alarmingly advanced stages.

Matters are compounded further when patients, due to stress, favour a less wholesome diet, often opting for foods that contain high levels of sugars. Sugar is a well-known major contributor to the build-up of plaque on teeth. Together with harmful bacteria, plaque can increase the likelihood of the first stages of gum disease. Stress is also responsible for people using smoking as a coping mechanism. Many medical fields discourage smoking due to its negative effects on health, one of which is promoting gum disease.

Signs of stress-related dental problems

Many patients find that dental health issues become more prevalent, due to the stress they experience. It is of the utmost importance that a patient seeks the attention of a dentist in W1 as soon as the first sign of a dental problem appears.

Obvious signs of stress-causing gum disease may include:

  • Muscle tension that result in a painful jaw.
  • The appearance of dental abscesses that result from infection.
  • Cheek biting that may create wounds leading to infection.

Proper dental treatment, as only a professional dental practitioner can provide, should be sought as soon as possible when a patient discovers swelling in the gum area, tenderness or infection. A dental practitioner will carry out a thorough examination of the condition of teeth and gums and suggest an in-clinic treatment plan, in addition to recommending a home hygiene routine that a patient should diligently adhere to. Gum disease is a treatable condition that can prevent tooth loss as long as the condition is treated in a timely manner. Schedule a check-up at a Harley Street dental clinic to ensure gum health.

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