Doctors have been telling us for years that stress can increase the risk of everything from high blood pressure to depression. At William J. Stewart Jr. DDS in San Antonio we ask: how often do we think about how stress affects our smile?
And what about your child’s smile? Children are just as susceptible to stress-induces oral problems.
Here are some dental problems linked to stress.
Canker and Cold Sores
Cold sores are a symptom of the herpes simplex virus. Scientists don’t know exactly what causes canker sores but suspect they are related to infection, virus, or a weak immune system. If you or your child are prone to mouth sores, you probably already know that stress seems to bring them on or prolong healing times.
speak with your doctor or dentist. Your healthcare provider can guide you on medications, diet, and stress reduction methods.
It’s no surprise that teeth grinding (bruxism) is dangerous to teeth. It starts with enamel wear, then loose teeth, and eventually tooth loss. During this progression, there may be other issues such as gum recession, headaches, and TMD (Temporomandibular Disorders).
If you notice that your child grinds their teeth, it’s important to address this condition as soon as possible. In addition to stress, there are many factors that can cause or exacerbate bruxism. These include malocclusion (bad bite), and prescription depression and anxiety medications.
Your dentist may prescribe an appliance to guard your child’s teeth and keep their jaw in the proper position while you are sleeping. Other treatments include cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation therapies, mandibular advancement devices, physical therapy, and medication.
If your child grinds their teeth, Dr. Stewart can develop a treatment plan and work with you and your doctor to manage or eliminate this condition.
There are many direct and indirect causes of TMD. For example, inability to manage stress may cause jaw clenching which, in turn, causes pain in the jaw joint. Other symptoms of TMD include tenderness, pain, or swelling in the neck, ear, face, or shoulder; popping or clicking sounds; and changes in bite alignment. Again, if you or your child experiences any of these, speak with your dentist.
Stress can reduce your ability to fight plaque build-up which can cause gingivitis.
Some children overlook brushing and flossing when they are experiencing high levels of stress.
It’s not uncommon for people people to consume more sugar and snack more often between meals when experiencing increased stress. All this at a time when vigilant oral hygiene is often not a person’s first priority!
Let’s nip this vicious cycle in the bud. Make an appointment with William J. Stewart Jr. DDS in San Antonio to protect your child’s dental health. We offer complete family dentistry. People from xxx also come to our office for TMJ/TMD treatment, and much more. Call to schedule an appointment today!