Stressed out teeth!

Whilst factors such as diet and our oral cleaning habits are key to having healthy teeth and gums; other, sometimes inescapable factors, can also have an impact.
Modern life
An increasing number of us live a more stressful lifestyle than our ancestors: work, family, financial responsibilities etc.. This type of stress can have a negative impact on our teeth.

Poor diet
One area which stress can affect is our diet. When all is calm and tranquil, we may stick to our ‘quinoa and yoghurt’ lifestyles, but, when stress strikes, how many of us think about healthy eating? So ready made meals and snacks seem to be the easiest options. Unfortunately, this means an increase in sugar in our diet which, if we do not clean our teeth properly, may lead to eventual enamel erosion and decay of our teeth. Compromised enamel means that tooth decay and other problems are more likely to occur.

Another way that stress often manifests itself is when we grind our teeth together; this is known as bruxism. Although we may feel that we don’t do this, it is likely that when we sleep we are grinding our teeth together, especially if we have something troublesome on our minds.

Not only is this likely to lead to a poor night’s sleep, but regular grinding is known to wear down the teeth, possibly causing a poor and uneven bite, and, in extreme cases, teeth have even been known to break. Grinding is a common cause of dental pain for many people.  In cases where this leads to the breakage of a tooth, the broken tooth can sometimes be restored with a filling or a crown, and worn enamel potentially restored, it is obviously far preferable to avoid this happening in the first place.

If you are aware of clenching or grinding, this can often be the first step on the way to trying to overcome this. Our dentists often recommend to try a mouthguard, it is a soft plastic mould which fits over your teeth and protects during the night. Ask your dentist for more details at your next dental health assessment.
Dental care
Whilst we are not really able to offer any direct help about stress (although your doctor may be able to), what we can do, apart from restore already damaged teeth, is to help you ensure that your teeth are strong and healthy in the first place. This will hopefully help to resist wear and tear. If you are concerned about your teeth, or are aware that you grind them and haven’t had them checked recently, contact the Absolute Team today.