Dental Tips Blog

Sep
13

6 Ways Anxiety Can Affect Your Smile

Posted in TMJ Therpy

Anxiety disorder typically involves feelings of worry or nervousness that are disproportionate to a trigger or that happen for no apparent reason. Anxiety stimulates the body’s fight-or-flight response.

Chronic anxiety takes a toll on your body. Here are some of the ways anxiety can affect your oral health.

  1. Teeth Grinding

In a tense situation, you may find yourself gritting your teeth. Chronic stress can even make you do this in your sleep. Teeth grinding loosens dental restorations, wears away tooth enamel, and puts teeth at risk of fracture.

  1. Disrupted Oral Hygiene Routine

Mental health imbalances such as anxiety can make you neglect basic brushing and flossing which are necessary for preventing disease.

  1. Substance Abuse

Untreated anxiety-sufferers are prone to abusing drugs and alcohol in an effort to calm themselves. Such substances can have serious negative effects on the mouth.

  1. Acid Erosion

There’s a close link between emotional health and digestive health. Anxiety can cause digestive distress that may lead to GERD, indigestion, or even vomiting. Stomach acids that make their way to your mouth can erode tooth enamel.

  1. TMJ Problems

Does chronic stress make you clench your jaw tightly? This can put a strain on your TMJ and cause soreness and stiffness when you chew or yawn.

  1. Dry Mouth

Anxiety can make your mouth dry out by stopping your saliva flow. The situation may worsen if you start taking an anti-anxiety medication. Certain drugs such as antidepressants have dry mouth as a side-effect. Dry mouth is uncomfortable and increases your risk for oral disease.

How can you protect your smile if you are an anxiety-sufferer? Talk with a dentist near you to find out.

Posted on behalf of:
Riverwood Dental
3350 Riverwood Pkwy #2120
Atlanta GA 30339
(770) 955-2505

Sep
27

How to Prevent TMJ Problems

Posted in TMJ Therpy

Your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is easy to take for granted until something goes wrong.

TMJ pain is almost impossible to live with. The discomfort can interfere with normal daily activities like chewing, yawning, talking, and laughing. To make matters worse, diagnosing the cause of a TMJ disorder and then treating it is very difficult.

So if you have no complaints so far, then now is the perfect time to make sure you’re taking good care of your jaw in order to avoid TMJ problems.

Relax

Stress is a major factor in TMJ issues. Tension can cause you to unconsciously clench your teeth and jaw muscles. This is just another great reason to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and eating well.

De-stress before bedtime with a cup of soothing herbal tea, a warm bath, or some relaxing music.

Get a Mouthguard

A teeth clenching and grinding habit taxes the TMJ and most often occurs during sleep. If you have this habit, then a night guard may help you limit the stress your jaw experiences.

Choose Not to Chew

Of course, you don’t want to never use your jaw. That would put on the fast-track to weakening. But it’s a good idea to occasionally evaluate just how much you work that joint.

Do you regularly chew on ice cubes from your drink? Do you constantly have a piece of gum in your mouth? When your jaw frequently engages in such activities, it can weaken and cause wear on the joint. Excessively strong cheek muscles can also put a strain on the TMJ.

How is your TMJ doing? Find out by scheduling a visit with your dentist or oral surgeon.

Posted on behalf of:
Les Belles NYC Dentistry
420 Lexington Ave #228
New York, NY 10170
212-804-8884

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