The Effects of Stress on Oral Health

With the current COVID-19 crisis, many people are experiencing heightened levels of stress and anxiety. Our normal routines have been severely disrupted and it’s hard to tell when things will be back to normal. This influx of stress can also have serious impacts on your oral health. Dr. Fabrizio Dall’Olmo, a dentist in Santa Monica, CA highlights these effects and how you can help them.dentist in santa monica, ca

Clenching and Grinding Your Teeth

Even if you didn’t have a problem with this before, a lot of stress can cause people to clench or grind their teeth. This can happen at night, without you realizing, or you may catch yourself doing it throughout the day.

More pressure and movement on your teeth means that wear and tear are going to increase. Your teeth will gradually file down, but you could notice other impacts sooner. Your teeth may chip, break, or crack at varying degrees of severity. You made need emergency dentistry if the break is bad and exposes the dental pulp. Call us immediately if this happens, as we’re still providing emergency dental care during the pandemic.

TMJ Disorders

Clenching and grinding your teeth, as well as additional stress, make you more likely to develop a TMJ disorder. This usually means that there’s a misalignment with your jaw joint. You’ll likely experience jaw and face pain, your jaw popping and clicking, and may have problems chewing and eating. There could be difficulty opening and closing your mouth.

Since you’re in isolation, look up techniques for TMJ disorder massages. If you have a partner or family member that can assist you, that’s the best scenario. Try these and over the counter pain medications to help relieve some of that pain and tension. When we’re able to resume regular business, Dr. Dall’Olmo can diagnose your case and provide the best method of treatment.

Neglecting Dental Care

Since you’re out of your normal routine, it’s easy to get mixed up. You may not be giving the time you need to brushing and flossing, particularly if you’re working from home and/or wrangling kids and pets. Do your best to establish a normal hygiene routine in your new day-to-day. Make sure you’re still brushing and flossing. If you aren’t, this puts you at risk for problems with tooth decay and gum disease.

Your Dentist in Santa Monica, California

After the pandemic is over, make sure you take the time for a checkup to make sure the stress hasn’t wreaked havoc on your smile. Call us or schedule an appointment online. We hope to see you soon!