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Dentist in Chicago

Stress can negatively impact your health in a number of ways, from inhibiting your sleep to depleting your immune system. What you may not realize, though, is that chronic stress can also be harming your oral health. If you’ve been experiencing any of the following symptoms, it may be a direct result of your stress.

1. If you’re experiencing jaw pain…

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues can definitely occur as a result of stress. This is because, when you’re stressed, your body’s natural reaction is to clench your jaw. If you do this too often, then you may experience a popping or clicking sound when you open and close your mouth. Your jaw may even lock on occasion. These are tell-tale signs of TMJ issues, and therefore you should address this problem with your dentist.

2. If you wake up with headaches or facial pain…

You may be surprised to learn that stress is a leading cause of nighttime bruxism, also known as teeth grinding. If you experience high levels of stress, your body’s natural reaction can be to grind your teeth in your sleep so as to release these stress hormones. Nighttime bruxism is often first noticed by a partner, but you may also experience facial pain and headaches in the morning as a result of this condition. Unfortunately, nighttime bruxism can cause many problems for your oral health, including broken teeth, loose teeth, TMJ problems, and even tooth decay.

3. If your gums are bleeding…

Have you noticed any blood along the gum line when you floss your teeth? This is actually a warning sign for gingivitis—an infection of the gums and the earliest stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is a common side effect of stress, as it can occur when your immune system is depleted. When you’re stressed, your immune system is less effective in helping you ward off infection. Therefore, when the bacteria on your teeth begin to wreak havoc on your gums, your body is less capable of protecting them. This ultimately leads to gingivitis.

4. If you have mouth sores…

As mentioned above, stress can often have a negative impact on your immune system. Not only can this lead to gingivitis, but it can also lead to mouth ulcers. Unfortunately, canker sores are very painful, making it difficult to eat, speak, and chew. Luckily, these often go away on their own with time.

5. If you have trouble swallowing…

If you’re taking medication for chronic stress, you may experience side effects of dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when your body is not producing enough saliva, and is a common side effect of certain medications. This can be quite harmful to your oral health, as it can lead to tooth decay and even bad breath.

Are you hoping to alleviate any of the above oral health issues? TruBlu Dentistry can help! Contact one of our offices in Burbank, Chicago, or Hegewisch today to set up your next appointment.

Be proud of your smile.