Stress and Your Oral Health

Stress is a common cause of health problems, and your oral health is no exception. Stress may contribute to teeth grinding, gum disease, dry mouth and canker sores and may also impact your oral health routine and diet—increasing your risk of tooth decay.

Oral Health Conditions

Teeth Grinding: Clenching or grinding (Bruxism) can cause damage to your teeth and enamel as well as headaches and soreness in the jaw. As grinding often occurs during the night you may not be aware you are doing it. Your dentist may recommend a night guard to protect your teeth from damage.

Gum Disease: Stress can lower your immune system and increase your risk for infection in the mouth, including gum disease.

Dry Mouth: Dry mouth is both a side effect of stress as well as the medicines used to treat stress and depression. The mouth's first line of defence against bacteria is saliva, and without it there is an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease and infection.

Canker Sores: Canker sores (white spots found on the soft tissue of the mouth) are harmless but can be painful. They will usually go away on their own within 1-2 weeks or your dentist may prescribe a topical treatment or rinse.

Tooth Decay: A neglected oral health routine, unhealthy lifestyle choices and conditions such as dry mouth increase your risk of tooth decay.

Get tips to reduce the impact of stress on your oral health.