Last week it was reported that actress Demi Moore had lost her two front teeth because of stress. Experts have said that the number one cause of tooth loss is gum disease, of which stress can be a factor. Here are 7 other ways stress could be taking it's toll on your teeth..
1. Translucent teeth
"If you notice that your teeth are becoming translucent or getting shorter this may be due to Bruxism (grinding) of the teeth. You should see your dentist as you may need a bite guard to protect the teeth from wearing further."
2. Achy jaw
"If you feel an ache or clicking in your jaw joint this may be a sign of stress. Seek advice from your dentist and you may need a treatment for the jaw, such as a special splint or even Botox to relax the muscle."
3. Bleeding gums
"If you notice your gums are bleeding more this can be a sign of gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis), which can be caused or exacerbated by stress. See your dentist and you may need some gum treatment such as deep cleaning (root planing) under the gums."
4. Dental abscesses
"Dental abscesses can be caused as during times of stress your body can be unable to fight of gum infections. Seek advice from your dentist and you may need antibiotics or further treatment for this."
5. Root canal problems
Root canal problems can be caused by stress if the grinding becomes so severe that the nerves of the teeth are exposed. Root canal treatment may then be needed to remove the nerve from the teeth.
6. Bad breath
Bad breath can be a sign of stress. Stomach acids can build during times of stress and lead to reflux and other compounds that causes bad breath. You will need to see your GP for this and may need treatment with antacids or other medication. This may even require further investigation of the stomach lining."
7. Cheek biting
"Cheek biting is a sign of stress. For some people this is a habit that is developed to cope with stress. Acupuncture or hypnosis are some of the treatments that can be used to help relax and prevent this.
8. Shortened teeth
Shortening of teeth is a symptom of bruxism (tooth grinding). This most often occurs at night called “sleep bruxism”. Sleep bruxism has also been associated with Obstructive sleep apnea. It can also occur in the daytime during times of increased stress.
9. Broken teeth and broken fillings
Clenching of teeth at night or in the daytime will bend teeth and fracture them and any fillings in them. This can lead to the need for fillings, crowns, root canals, and tooth loss over time if not corrected.
Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about Stress and your teeth at Crystal Lake Dental Associates.