Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ask the Dentists in Pueblo CO: Is Stress Affecting Your Oral Health? PART 1

This two-part article series discusses the impact a highly stressed lifestyle can have upon one’s oral health and hygiene. It also provides healthcare advice.

Nowadays, life is fast-paced and demanding, says dentists in Pueblo CO. We all want to do well; we all want to do better than well! We want to succeed in our various endeavors, become wealthy and be able to do the things we want to do, whether it’s travelling, an outdoor sport or just spending time with friends and family. But there are obstacles in one’s journey, which, at times, can seem insurmountable. Deadlines, terrible bosses, difficult colleagues, bills and the demands of having a family can cause terrible stress for even the most stoic individual. Regardless of who you are, what you do or how large your monthly salary is, we all suffer from stress. “But is your lifestyle affecting your oral health?” ask dentists in Pueblo CO.

Dentists in Pueblo CO

Dentists in Pueblo CO: How Stress Affects Your Oral Health

So you had a rough day at the office. Actually, you’ve had a rough YEAR at the office! So what does this have to do with the health of your teeth and gums? Quite a bit, actually, say dentists in Pueblo CO. The stress and anxiety you carry around on your shoulders can cause all sorts of problems for your pearly whites:

  • Teeth grinding (Bruxism)
  • Jaw clenching and the development of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD)
  • Mouth sores
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • An unhealthy diet and eating routines
  • The eventual development of gum disease and/or the exacerbation of existing oral bacterial infections.

Advice from Dentists in Pueblo CO: What You can do to Prevent Oral Health Problems Related to Stress

Mouth sores

Mouth sores, or canker sores are small ulcers that appear on the soft tissues inside or just outside the mouth; usually the cheeks, palate, tongue or lips, say dentists in Pueblo CO. They are usually related to bacteria activity or viruses and appear when one’s immune system is compromised. Stress, fatigue and allergies also increase a patients risk of developing mouth sores, explain dentists in Pueblo CO. There is a difference between canker sores, which are not contagious, and cold sores or fever blisters. The latter is caused by the Herpes Simplex virus and is contagious. You can purchase topical creams and anesthetic gels to help combat these blights and their painful symptoms, say dentists in Pueblo CO.

Teeth grinding or Bruxism

Dentists Pueblo CO

Teeth grinding is a classic symptom of stress and it can utterly wreck your teeth, say dentists in Pueblo CO. Usually, people do it unconsciously or at night while they are asleep. Over time, bruxism can totally wear away the enamel of the teeth rendering them incredibly vulnerable to decay and cavities. If you grind your teeth at night, have a mouth guard fitted and wear it, stress dentists in Pueblo CO.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD)

Bruxism and jaw clenching put undue stress on the joint that connects the mandible (lower jaw) to the maxilla (upper jaw), say dentists in Pueblo CO. This can cause the tendons and muscles to become inflamed and painful, making your jaw feel stiff and sore. TMD can also cause powerful migraines. If you suffer from these kinds of symptoms, speak to your dentist about preventive treatment. There is no ‘cure’ for TMD, but there are measures you can take to reduce the symptoms and then eliminate the problem, say dentists in Pueblo CO.

Dentists in Pueblo CO: Stay Tuned!

Stay tuned for the second installment of the series to read more information on how stress can severely affect your oral health and hygiene.