Is Your Anxiety Disorder Affecting Your Teeth?
Posted on 10/10/2015 by Robert Leale
|Suffering from an anxiety disorder can affect your life in a variety of ways, and it can have negative implications both physically and mentally. Anxiety can manifest in physical symptoms like muscle and body aches, and mental symptoms like increased stress levels and even depression may result. However, one thing that many people who are living with anxiety don't usually consider is how the condition can affect their teeth and oral health, and this can be an unfortunate error. Learn about how your anxiety might be affecting your teeth, and don't wait until it is too late to take the steps to protect your mouth from negative effects.
Anxiety May Cause You to Grind Your TeethGrinding the teeth is a common side effect of anxiety, and at times, you might not even be aware that you are doing it. In many cases, grinding occurs while you are sleeping, possibly due to stress and anxiety that you encountered throughout the day.
You might not realize that this is even a problem until you start to experience adverse effects, such as tooth sensitivity or wearing down of the chewing surfaces, or you might begin to experience headaches or jaw pain. Similarly, if you tend to clench your jaws when you are anxious, you could be putting unnecessary and unhealthy amounts of pressure onto your teeth.
Anxiety Could Cause Dry MouthNot only is anxiety itself a possible source of dry mouth, but many medications that people take to combat this problem can also come with the side effect of dry mouth. Unfortunately, this condition can trigger a variety of dental problems since having limited saliva can prevent acid neutralization. The saliva will also help in the remineralization of the enamel, so if you feel that you are experiencing dry mouth, you should take steps to alleviate it. In some cases, increasing your water consumption or sucking on a mint can be solutions to chronic dry mouth, but if you need additional tips or guidance, feel free to contact our office.
Anxiety Could Cause You to Be Obsessive Compulsive about Your Oral HealthSome people that suffer from anxiety can develop obsessive compulsive behaviors, and this can result in extreme oral health routines. You may develop an obsession with your oral hygiene, and unfortunately, this can cause problems with your oral health. Brushing and flossing too much or too aggressively can cause damage to the enamel and the gums. When the enamel wears down due to obsessive cleaning, this can be just as damaging as neglecting the teeth entirely.
Anxiety-Induced Acid Reflux Could Cause Tooth DamageDo you experience acid reflux as a consequence of your anxiety disorder? Do you get indigestion or heartburn when you are feeling especially stressed out about something? This could be causing damage to your teeth. When acid is allowed to bubble up into the mouth, your teeth could be damaged and the gum tissues may weaken. Most dentists will recommend that you take an acid reducer in order to help alleviate this problem, especially before bed.
While it is clear that anxiety disorders can negatively affect your oral health, it is important that you aren't neglecting the fact that a mental health impairment is the root cause of all of these problems. You should take the steps to get your anxiety under control, so consider seeing a psychologist or therapist for tips on how to reduce your anxiety level and to better cope with the stress in your life. While these professionals can help treat the root problem, if you feel that you have experienced dental side effects as a result of your anxiety, you should be sure to contact our office for an oral evaluation.