Many of us generally don’t realise how detrimental stress can be to our overall wellbeing. Stress has been found to affect human performance. The more stressed you are, the less you are able to master the mental energies and concentrate on your tasks. Stressed people may eventually lead to depression and even suicide.

But stress can also have a direct and indirect negative impact on your health. Stressed people are more prone to sedentary living, binge eating, less exercise, less interaction and socialisation and all these factors will affect your health. One of the most overlooked impacts of stress is its correlation to your dental health.

People who are stressed are could also be less likely to be motivated to take proper care of their bodies, including their dental health. The most common dental issue for people suffering from stress is that they are likely to neglect proper oral hygiene and this will affect the health of their teeth and gums. Stressed people are also more likely to grind their teeth, drink more alcohol and smoke more, all of which can wreak havoc and lead to conditions that may cause pain to your teeth.

Here are some ways in which stress can cause pain to your teeth:

The TMJ Disorder

High levels of stress and anxiety may also lead to a condition called Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ). When some people are stressed, they tend to overuse their jaw muscles leading to increased clenching or grinding of teeth. This will result in some pain or in serious cases, a compromised movement of the jaw as well as in the affected muscles. This will in turn lead to toothache or a difficulty in chewing food.

Poor oral hygiene

People who are stressed or depressed often recline to a low-energy state where even maintaining a proper oral hygiene is a struggle. You will be cleaning your mouth and brushing your teeth less often which will in turn lead to the buildup of plaque on your teeth and gum lines. Gum infections are also common during this state for the same reason. The result will be increased sensitivity of teeth which is often painful. Even in a stressed state, try to maintain proper oral care by brushing three times daily and flossing your teeth.

Canker sores

Canker sores have been linked to how people process stress or anxiety problems. The condition is especially common in women and occurs when they are experiencing high stress levels. There is a constellation of possible causes of Canker sores such as mouth injuries, accidental cheek bites, hormonal shifts and emotional among others stress.

Seek Help

If you are grappling with stress, anxiety or depression, it is advisable to seek medical help as soon as possible. Stress may seem harmless but it triggers various emotional, behavioural and physical responses that may be detrimental to your health. Whenever you are grappling with stress, start taking measures to reduce the stress. For example, you can do more physical exercises, try out various relaxation techniques, avoid coffee and alcohol, talk to someone. Don’t sacrifice your oral hygiene as a result of stress or depression. If you are feeling pain in your mouth or teeth after a stress episode, see a dentist for professional guidance.