Your Chandler Dentist Knows When You're Stressed
Stress is abundant in normal times, but it is exponentially more intense during this time of year. While many people are still winding down from the Halloween celebrations, Thanksgiving arrives and a new flurry of decorations, cooking, and daily obligations takes hold on your life. Because it happens every year, this may seem a normal and natural human response to the holidays. However, prolonged stress levels can negatively affect your health, and can even leave signs in your mouth that something is amiss. Chandler dentist Dr. Mark Arooni explains how he can tell when a patient is overly stressed, whether they admit it or not.
Oral Health—Signs of Stress
Stress is how we react in strange, troubling, or threatening situations. It is a defense mechanism during which your senses are heightened and your reaction time is quickened to facilitate your survival, and likely stems from ancient times when the environment held more natural dangers and predators to humans. Unfortunately, life in these modern times contains a multitude of reasons to be stressed, and when prolonged, this stress can deteriorate aspects of your health, including your oral health. Some common oral health signs of stress include:
- Canker sores—These small white or gray ulcers appear inside the mouth. Experts disagree on an exact cause of canker sores, but they agree that canker sores are more likely to appear in the midst of prolonged and excessive stress levels.
- Teeth Grinding/Clenching—Anger and frustration often cause people to clench their jaws and grind their teeth. Some people, however, do this constantly, without an emotional trigger. This habit is called bruxism, and when left unchecked, it can wear down your teeth enough to completely alter your bite’s alignment (occlusion). Bruxism can also lead to TMJ disorder—an extremely uncomfortable malfunction of your jaw joints.
- Bad habits/poor hygiene—Stress can also cause us to take our eyes off of the ball, so to speak. When you’re overwhelmed by stress and worries, your oral health may not seem very important, and you may skip brushing and flossing your teeth without even realizing it. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are also common symptoms of stress, and can also irreversibly destroy your gums and teeth.
Call Us Today
Don’t let stress destroy your smile. To learn more about protecting your oral health from stress, schedule an appointment with Dr. Arooni by calling our Chandler dental office at 480-855-1200. Located in the 85224 area, Lakeview Dental Care proudly serves patients from Chandler, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, and all surrounding communities.
By Mark Arooni DDS