Your Mind and Your Mouth: How Stress can Mess with your Dental Health

Dentist Blog

We all experience stress at some point in our lives and it can have a big impact on our bodies, causing problems such as headaches, sleep problems and upset stomachs. What is less well known however is the impact stress can have on your teeth, gums and overall oral health. 

Canker Sores

Stress can cause fever blisters and canker sores. Canker sores are small, grey/white ulcers that appear inside your mouth. When you have canker sores any activity that involves the mouth, such as talking, eating or yawning can be painful. The pain should become less severe after a few days and the sores should heal after a week or so. If they do not, you should visit a doctor who may prescribe a mouth wash or ointment to help to treat the sores.


Bruxism is a condition were you repeatedly grind and clench your jaws. Although there can be several causes, it is normally related to stress or anxiety and can happen when you are asleep, with around 8% of adults are conscious of teeth-grinding sounds at night. Signs of bruxism include indentations in the tongue, loss of enamel, and flattening of the tips of the teeth. Bruxism can be treated using medication, a mouth guard which is worn a night.

Disorders of the Jaw

Disorder that effect the jaw are called Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD). The majority of these disorders are believed to be caused by stress and anxiety. TMD disorders can affect the neck as well as the jaw and teeth, with symptoms including a stiff jaw, locking of the jaw, painful clicking, grating or popping of the jaw joint and pain which radiates from the jaw, neck or face.

Gum Disease

Studies have shown a connection between stress and gum disease. If gum disease in not treated it can develop into a more serious type of infection called periodontitis which is a major causes of adult tooth loss.


A side effect of some medications used to treat stress, anxiety and depression is a dry mouth. Saliva plays a vital role in the preventing tooth decay by helping to remove debris from the surface of teeth.

If you suffer from stress, anxiety or depression you should seek help from a medical professional. You may also want to consider positive lifestyle changes, such as making sure you eat well and get enough exercise and sleep. You should continue to maintain a regular regime of brushing and flossing. If you experience any of the problems above, you should visit your dentist for a check up and consultation.   


23 March 2016

Unraveling Dental Myths about Children: A Blog for Parents

When I had my first child, I was a nervous wreck. Every book I read gave different advice, and I just wanted to be right! By the time I had my third child, some of the stress had abated. I now realised, there were tons of different perspectives on everything related to raising children including dentistry. To help parents, I have created this blog dedicated to unraveling dental myths about children. I am including posts that weigh both sides of issues such as thumb sucking, dental caries, breastfeeding, flossing and any other topic I can think of. I hope you find the information you need to unravel dental myths, but most importantly, I hope you find some peace of mind. With kids and dentistry, there can be more than one right answer, and I want you to be able to relax and go with the answer that's right for you.