You may think your stress is under control, but Dr. Kaz Zymantas can tell from one look at your mouth if you may be experiencing too much. Stress can affect your oral health along with the rest of your body, and it can go deeper than teeth grinding or clenching. Here are some ways that your teeth may be suffering from too much stress in Naperville, IL.
The effects of stress can show up on the surface where you least expect. For example, canker sores erupt on the soft tissues inside your mouth and on your lips. They may be uncomfortable or embarrassing as they take time to heal and can even lead to infections.
Clenching or grinding your teeth is another sign you may be under a lot of stress. This habit can occur without your awareness, even during sleep. Over time, your teeth may wear down, lose fillings, or crack and break from the constant pressure. We can examine your teeth for this condition and may recommend a bite guard to use while sleeping in order to slow down the damage.
Have you heard of the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ? People who clench their jaw frequently develop swelling and pain in this joint. The inflammation may cause headaches and earaches, trouble chewing, or popping or locking of the jaw. You do not want to let TMJ problems get out of control. Some patients find relief from symptoms with medication and physical therapy.
Stress can also cause other oral problems. Burning mouth syndrome is painful and irritating, while dry mouth may lead to more plaque, tooth decay, and cavities. Some people begin unhealthy habits, such as excessive drinking, smoking, or eating junk food to cope with stress. Any of these can do some real damage to your teeth and gums, while at the same time harming your other body systems.
We Can Help
Dr. Zymantas and his staff can offer suggestions and treatments to care for your smile. Please call our office at (630) 687-9060 to schedule an appointment.