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