With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading across the nation, stress is higher for just about everyone. Stress impacts both your mind and body. But exactly what impact does it have on your oral health? The experts at Premier Dental Care, a dentist in Palmdale, CA, offer some things that you should be on the lookout for.
Teeth Grinding and Clenching
Even if this wasn’t a habit you had previously, extra stress often means you’ll find yourself grinding or clenching your teeth. Teeth grinding is a common symptom of stress. You may not notice it if you’re doing it overnight while you’re sleeping. You may also find yourself doing it subconsciously during the day, unaware of how long it’s been happening.
Most likely, you’ll start to notice pain throughout your jaw. You may also experience pressure in the face or ear, as well as more frequent headaches. Since you’re putting a lot more pressure on your teeth and jaw, that tension needs to be released somewhere. You can sometimes feel tension radiate throughout your neck and shoulders.
You may also see impacts on your teeth. More pressure means more wear and tear put on them. It can make it more likely to chips, breaks, or cracks in the teeth as well. This can lead to you having to deal with a dental emergency if you’re clenching your teeth too hard at some point.
Decreased Immune Response
One of the most worrisome things that the body does in times of stress is that it has a decreased immune response. This is especially not something that you want to have when the source of the stress is a virus that’s traveling around the country. But what does this have to do with your oral health?
A decreased immune response means that you’re more likely to develop conditions like gum disease because of this. One of the main symptoms of even early-stage gum disease is bleeding gums, especially when you’re brushing or flossing your teeth. Through these openings, the bacteria from the infection can get into the bloodstream. From the mouth, those bacteria can travel throughout the body and cause problems in other areas.
But perhaps even worse than the bacteria is the inflammation that comes with gum disease. Your body spends extra resources trying to fight the inflammation. This means that there are fewer resources to fight any other problems that might come along. The inflammation is constant as well, which means that your body is trying to fight it around the clock until the disease is taken care of.
Your Dentist in Palmdale, California
Stress can cause a heavy toll on your smile. When the pandemic is over, it’s important that you get your smile checked out. Call us immediately if stress has caused a dental emergency. Otherwise, call us or schedule an appointment online for the future!