Throughout America, stress levels have been skyrocketing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With uncertainty and a disruption of our daily schedules, it’s understandable that we’ll be feeling more stress. But how exactly does this impact your oral health? Claremont Dental Institute, a dentist in Claremont, CA, lets you know some issues you may experience.
Decreased Immune Response
One of the most serious things that stress can cause is a decreased immune response. But how is this an oral health problem? Both bacterial infections of the mouth and gum disease can be more prevalent due to stress.
If you notice any ulcers, mouth sores, or white and red lines in your mouth, that’s a sign of a bacterial infection. Frequently rinse your mouth with warm salt water to try to keep things clean and sterile. If you have oral antiseptic gel, that should be used too. Over the counter pain medications can help with any pain or soreness the ulcers may cause.
If your gums are bleeding or are more tender than usual, these are signs of gum disease. The bacteria from the infection can make its way into the bloodstream through the openings caused by bleeding gums. This takes the infection to other areas of the body. Gum disease inflammation also decreases your immune response further. Your body is trying to fight and control this inflammation, leaving you susceptible to other infections.
Broken Teeth or Dental Restorations
While stress doesn’t necessarily make your teeth weaker, it does increase the amount you grind and clench them. You may develop this issue even if you’ve never had a problem with teeth grinding before. This can lead to pain in your jaw and face, headaches, and a progression to TMJ disorders as well.
The chips in your teeth can be mild and cosmetic, or you may experience a severe break or crack. A break can expose the tooth pulp, leading to sensitivity and pain when you’re chewing and doing other things. Large cracks mean that food particles and bacteria can get down into the insides of the tooth. This can lead to tooth decay and the need for a root canal or tooth extraction if it gets too bad.
Stress may also lead to dental crowns or dental bridges breaking. Never try to put back a dental restoration that’s been broken yourself. Dental crowns can rarely be used again if they’re broken or fall out. Your dentist will have to create a new one. For bridges, bring in the restoration to the office. Your dentist will decide whether to repair it or to create a new one.
Your Dentist in Claremont, California
Throughout the pandemic, we’re still serving patients that experience dental emergencies, like a severely broken tooth. Call us immediately if this happens. And don’t forget about a checkup to check on your teeth after the pandemic. Call us or schedule an appointment online for the future. We hope to see you soon!