The Affects of Stress on Teeth

We understand that the uncertainty and confusion of the current mental health situation can be a great source of anxiety for some people. Stress is an unpleasant feeling on its own, but did you know it can even affect the health of your teeth? Studies have tied worsening symptoms in a variety of factors to increased stress levels.

The Affects of Stress on Teeth


This is one of the most common side effects of stress, and probably the one you are most familiar with. “Bruxism” is a fancy word for clenching or grinding your teeth. When you are stressed you tense up, and your jaw muscles tense up too. Not only can grinding cause excess wear or even crack your teeth, but it can also increase malocclusion, leading to longterm disorders such as TMJ or sleep apnea.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is generally tied to poor diet or hygiene and tooth decay. These are definitely major contributing factors, but in fact, stress can also increase your risk and severity of periodontitis. This is probably because stress affects your immune system. If your immune system can’t fight off decay, gum disease develops.

Mouth Sores

Several kinds of mouth sores have been linked to stress, including cold and canker sores. Cold sores are a symptom of the herpes virus and can become more prevalent when your immune system is being challenged by stress. Doctors are not sure what exactly causes canker sores, but they are also more frequent during times of stress.

Call Us Today

Dr. Jody Harrison understands that you might have questions about your teeth or developing emergencies. We are always happy to hear from you and advise our patients on proper dental health. If you have any questions about treatment, just let a member of our dental staff know. They will be happy to help you. To contact our dentists in Asheville, NC, contact us on our website or at (828) 255-8100.