While we hope you all have a joyful holiday season, we recognize that many individuals also experience a great deal of stress this time of year. And while you are likely familiar with the effect of stress on your mental and physical health, you may not recognize the impact it has on your oral health as well. Together, we will dissect oral pains that often arise during periods of high stress.
Teeth Grinding and Clenching
Many people are unaware that they experience grinding and clenching, also known as bruxism, because it most often occurs while asleep. The root cause of clenching is an improper bite, but the addition of stress makes this affliction much more present and painful.
A telltale sign of bruxism is waking up with jaw pain or experiencing headaches throughout the day. If this applies to you, talk with your dentist at your next check-up.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your lower jawbone to your skull and provides assistance with chewing, swallowing, and speaking. Pain and discomfort can occur when the muscles around your jaw become inflamed. If you experience limited jaw mobility, clicking or popping when opening your mouth, or general pain around the jaw check with your dentist who can further examine the cause.
Biting your cheek harshly, brushing with too much pressure, or having high stress can lead to the development of canker sores inside your mouth. Canker sores are non-contagious mouth ulcers. When present, avoid spicy and acidic foods which will only cause additional pain.
How To Reduce the Discomfort of Oral Pain Caused by Stress
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid caffeine
- Try to stop mouth breathing
- Use a humidifier
- Consume food high in vitamins and minerals
Stress is simply a fact of life, but there are habits you can develop to better handle oral pain brought on by stress. Bookmark this post to serve as a helpful guide during the holidays!