Is Stress Ruining Your Teeth?

DentalPlans.com Helping Reduce Stress and Improve Smiles

PLANTATION, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DentalHealth?src=hash" target="_blank"gt;#DentalHealthlt;/agt;–April is National Stress Awareness month, making it a good time to
review stress levels and begin managing stress and its related

is informing Americans that stress and anxiety can not only come in the
form of physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive issues, stiff
neck, insomnia and mood swings, but can also take a toll on your dental
health. Dry mouth, grinding teeth and acid indigestion can weaken, chip,
crack and break teeth, and even cause chronic gum disease.

Be sure to see a dentist if you experience any of the following.

Dry Mouth

Our mouths depend on a good flow of saliva to control bacteria and
plaque build-up, as well as flush away food debris. That’s why dry mouth
can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Stress puts bodies in crisis mode, which often includes a reduction in
physical systems that aren’t considered essential for immediate
survival. So, for example, stress hormones may suppress the need for
salvia flow in order to use every available resource to keep people
alert and ready to defend themselves.

Additionally, any medication that is being taken to deal with anxiety
can also reduce saliva flow. Talk to a dentist. He or she can help
determine what specifically (apart from general stress) is causing dry
mouth and help combat it. Typically, dentists recommend therapeutic
rinses with xylitol to treat dry mouth symptoms and reduce bacteria
growth. Severe dry mouth may require a rinse that acts as a saliva

Staying hydrated and sucking on ice (but
don’t chew ice!
) can help keep the mouth healthy until the stress
and dry mouth is back under control.

Tooth Grinding

About 40 Million Americans grind their teeth, and stress is one of the
leading causes. About 70% of teeth grinding happens at night, when the
grinder is sound asleep, and it’s common for people to be totally
unaware they suffer from what dentist call “bruxism”. Sore jaws, a
clicking sound when the mouth is opened, a dull constant headache that
originates around the temples, tender teeth, and even indentations on
the tongue are typical signs of tooth grinding.

For anything more than the occasional bout of teeth grinding, a visit to
the dentist is a must. He or she will check for issues that can cause
people to grind their teeth, like a misaligned bite, and will probably
also ask about any medications being taken, and if you’re experiencing

If grinding is damaging the teeth, or has the potential of doing so, a
dentist may suggest that the patient wear a night guard to help protect
your teeth and relax your jaw.

Other Stress-related Issues

Stress can cause digestive problems, and an increase in stomach acid,
which may enter the oral cavity. Acidic environments damage dental
enamel, and cause teeth to discolor and weaken. Over time, teeth will
decay and may break or fail completely.

And when people are subjected to stress, they may resort to nervous
chewing on fingernails, pencils and ice cubes, all of which can chip,
crack and shatter teeth. Additionally, stress may result in unhealthy
behaviors such as overindulgence in foods and alcohol that can damage
teeth, gums and overall health.

“Not being able to afford the health and dental care you and your family
needs is often a huge source of stress. But when people put off seeing a
dentist or doctor, their oral and overall health worsens, and their
stress increases – it’s a vicious cycle,” said Jennifer Stoll, chief
commercial officer at DentalPlans.com.

“Thankfully, dental savings plans make seeing the dentist far more
affordable. And, many plans also include savings on other healthcare
needs, such as prescriptions, vision and hearing care,” Stoll added.

A dental savings plan can reduce the cost of dental care by 10-60%,
helping alleviate stress around paying for costly bills. To find out
more about dental savings plans, and the other benefits they offer,
visit dentalplans.com.

About DentalPlans.com

DentalPlans.com, founded in 1999, is a leading dental and health savings
online marketplace in the U.S., helping more than a million people to
affordably access quality healthcare services. Our mission is to empower
consumers with the tools, information, and services that they need to
live happier, healthier lives. www.dentalplans.com.


Nicole Fry, Communications Manager
[email protected]


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