Can Stress Affect My Oral Health? How?

Nobody likes feeling stressed, especially when it begins to affect your health. Stress can manifest itself in all sorts of physical ways. Maybe when you’re worried, you toss and turn all night unable to sleep. Maybe you lose your appetite or even your hair! Stress also sometimes takes a toll on your teeth. Read more to learn about how anxiety can affect your oral health.


High stress levels can sometimes trigger bruxism, which is the clinical term for grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw. This can happen throughout the day or at nighttime while you sleep. Clenching your jaw can lead to problems with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and jaw alignment, while tooth grinding causes excessive wear and tear, weakening your teeth to the point that they potentially crack or decay. Luckily, a custom nightguard can help.

Canker Sores and Gum Disease

Canker sores are small, painful ulcers that develop on the soft tissue of your mouth. If you’re prone to getting canker sores, they often pop up more regularly when you’re feeling anxious. This is because stress weakens your overall immune system, which can also make you more vulnerable to gum disease since your body has to work harder to fight off infection. Some tips to reduce canker sores are limit acidic and spicy foods. OTC remedies like Orajel and rinsing with warm salt water (1 t. salt in 1 c. warm water) can relieve discomfort.

Neglecting Your Dental Routine

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, you may begin to neglect your typical routines, including your oral care. Perhaps you skip brushing your teeth just to get in bed a little earlier or you eat an extra bowl of sugary ice cream to keep your mind off your troubles. These little changes in habit can add up over time and lead to dental issues if left unchecked.

Stress-free Dental Care in Rochester Mills and St. Clair Shores, MI

At Hillstream Dental, we strive to make your dental visits as stress-free as possible. Our office’s warm atmosphere and comfortable amenities will immediately put you at ease, and you’ll be in good hands with our experienced team. If you’ve noticed changes in your oral health that may be due to stress, schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact Us

Hillstream Dental

Hillstream Dental