It may come as a surprise, but your emotional health can actually play a significant role in your dental health. And that’s especially true when it comes to anxiety, says Dr. Kurt Mackie. Keep reading to learn about the top two ways anxiety affects teeth from the 78006 dentist.
How Anxiety Relates to Your Teeth
You’ve already considered the affect anxiety has on the way you feel day-to-day, but you probably haven’t considered how it relates to your oral health. But the effect can be significant. From dental anxiety that prevents you from seeking proper care to jaw clenching that occurs as a result of being on-edge during the day, you could be doing real harm to your smile by not managing your anxious tendencies.
Dental Fear and Anxiety
Too many patients avoid the dentist due to their anxiety — but that’s a big mistake, says your dentist in Boerne TX. If you only visit the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary, like when you’ve got a significant pain or other issue, you’re missing out on vital preventive care. And the most conservative treatment is impossible when pain already exists.
Choosing an excellent dentist can help you overcome your dental phobia. Your dentist should take the time to truly listen to your concerns, and thoroughly explain any treatments or procedures to you to eliminate potentially stressful surprises. In general, you’ll know your dentist cares about helping you overcome your anxious tendencies when they are willing to take the time to make you comfortable. There’s no point in rushing if it comes at the expense of your peace of mind.
Teeth Grinding, Jaw Clenching
It’s a common side effect of stress and anxiety: teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Both can occur throughout the day and during sleep. The chronic condition is known as bruxism. Unfortunately, the effects of this habit can be incredibly destructive, leading to broken, fractured teeth, pain in the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) as well as tooth wear and increased sensitivity.
Some ways you can manage anxiety for reduced teeth grinding and jaw clenching include the following lifestyle changes.
- Vigorous cardio activity
- Talk therapy
- Yoga or meditation practice
- Reducing tobacco and alcohol consumption
- Dietary changes
If you’ve tried to reduce anxiety but haven’t seen an improvement in your teeth grinding and jaw clenching, you can seek treatment for TMJ/TMD from your dentist.
Contact Your Dentist Today
If you’d like to learn more about how your emotional health affects your smile, or if you’d simply like to schedule your six-month visit to Dr. Mackie’s office, please don’t wait to request your appointment! We’re here to help you enjoy strong, healthy teeth for a lifetime to come.