The Surprising Ways Stress Affects Your Teeth & Gums

woman sitting on a couch holds her head with a stress headache

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, stress can silently weave its way into our well-being, affecting our mental and oral health. When we don’t feel our best mentally, it can affect our oral health. Here are some common ways that stress affects your oral health.


Stress often manifests unconsciously, and one common dental consequence is bruxism, the grinding or clenching of teeth. This can occur during the day or, more commonly, at night during sleep. Over time, bruxism can lead to worn-down teeth, jaw pain, and headaches.

Gum Disease Aggravation

Stress weakens the immune system, making the gums more susceptible to infections. Individuals under chronic stress can experience exacerbated gum disease symptoms, including inflammation, bleeding, and slower healing.

Dry Mouth Dilemma

Stress can contribute to dry mouth. Saliva is crucial for neutralizing acids and washing away debris. A dry mouth environment increases the risk of cavities and other oral issues.

Poor Oral Hygiene Habits

Stress can sometimes lead to neglecting oral hygiene routines. Overwhelmed individuals may skip regular brushing or flossing, inadvertently causing dental problems.

Canker Sores & Stress

These painful ulcers can develop on the soft tissues inside the mouth during periods of heightened stress. While scientists haven’t found the direct link, they believe it’s tied to people’s tendency to bite or pick at their lips when stressed.

Comprehensive Family Dentistry in San Marcos, CA

Acknowledging the connection between stress and oral health is the first step towards mitigating its impact. Incorporating stress management techniques, maintaining regular dental check-ups, and being mindful of oral hygiene can go a long way in preserving your smile even in the face of life’s daily pressures.

If you need affordable dental care, call the team at Mission Hills Family Dental today!

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