Stress Can Damage Your Mouth

stressStress can lead to damage in your body.  Stress in the mouth can cause damage to your teeth, gums and other parts of your mouth.  If you are overly stressed here are some of the issues you may notice in your mouth and how you can treat them.

Develop sores in the mouth – You might get canker sores, which are small white ulcers.  They are often a reaction to low immunity, virus or bacteria, stress, allergies or exhaustion.  If you have a canker sore, stay away from spicy and acidic food as this can irritate it more.

Gum disease – Stress or depression can cause gum disease because of large deposits of dental plaque.  To prevent gum disease, brush twice a day and rinse with an antibacterial rinse. Be sure to visit your dentist regularly.

Bruxism – Clenching and grinding your teeth subconsciously is known as bruxism. It is very often caused by stress.  It can lead to a condition called TMJ disorder.  If you have noticed that you grind your teeth, be sure to talk to your dentist. They can treat it with a mouth guard that you wear at night to avoid grinding.

Poor oral habits – If you are stressed, you may not being paying as much attention to your daily hygiene habits. If your mouth is neglected too long, you can get cavities or gum disease. Eat healthy foods and exercise to help with your oral hygiene and stress levels.

Watch It! Stress Can Damage Your Mouth Functioning|Dentist Find

What Causes Cold Sores?

cold soresIf you’ve ever had one of those pesky cold sores, you know that they can’t always be avoided.  But it may help to know some factors that cause cold sores.

Cold sores are re-activations of the herpes simplex virus.  This virus stays dormant in your body once you have been infected with it. When these lesions appear on the outside of your lip, this means you are having a flare-up of the infection. People with HIV or Aids may have more complications with cold sores.

Many factors can cause this recurrence to happen.  A fever, menstruation, stress and even sun exposure. Some people confuse canker sores with cold sores.  While cold sores occur on the outside of the mouth, canker sores are ulcers that occur on the inside of the mouth and are not associated with the herpes simplex virus.

Cold sores will usually resolve in 7 to 10 days in healthy people.  If your cold sore is painful, you can take acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin to help.  You may want to try applying a warm or cold compress to the spot.  Do not squeeze or pick at the sore.

What Causes Cold Sores|Oral B

Can Stress Affect Oral Health?

can stress affect oral healthYou have heard that stress is bad for the health of your mind and body, but can stress affect oral health? When you know how stress can affect your teeth, you can then take the steps to protect your oral health.

Stress and anxiety can lead to bruxism, the habit of grinding teeth. This habit can cause permanent damage to your teeth and it can wear down the enamel.  It also results in pressure on the supportive tissues of your teeth and can lead to bone loss.

Stress can contribute to poor eating habits. When you are stressed and anxious you are more likely to eat foods that are sugary and unhealthy.  These foods can increase the risk of tooth decay.

Stress can contribute to poor oral health habits.  When you are stressed, daily care of your teeth and gums by not be a top priority.  If you neglect brushing and flossing, you are more prone to tooth decay and gum disease.

Stress has a negative effect on your hormones. One way this harms your teeth is that it reduces the production of saliva.  Saliva is necessary to keep teeth healthy. Another way that hormones affect your teeth is by decreasing your body’s immunity to infection.

Stress can cause canker sores. Although there are a number of reasons for canker sores, the issue originates in your immune system which can be lowered by too much stress.

Stress affects your body’s ability to heal. If you have a dental procedure done, it may not be as effective if you have a large amount of stress. You may also be more prone to infection or other complications after a dental procedure.

Stress interferes with routine dental visits. If you are overly stressed, you are probably not thinking about visiting the dentist.  You may even miss scheduled appointments and are less likely to make routine cleanings and exams a priority.

We all experience some amount of stress.  If you feel like your stress is too high, there are some ways you can try to reduce it.  Things like short walks or runs, reading a book, relaxing music or taking a vacation are all things that can help.  If you need to, visit your doctor to get some help.

7 Ways Stress Can Affect Oral Health|Dental Town

Curing Canker Sores

canker soresCanker sores can be hard to ignore. They can be found on your tongue, cheeks, lips and gums and they hurt and get in the way when you eat or drink. Luckily, they usually don’t last too long, but if you have had trouble getting rid of them, you can try some of these home remedies for curing canker sores.

  • Homemade remedy of Milk of Magnesia or Kaopectate which contain ingredients that coat wet tissues and Benylin or Benadryl which help to reduce inflammation. You can apply to the canker sore with a cotton swab, but don’t swallow it.
  • Over the Counter remedies can be found at your local pharmacy.  These include products like Orabase with Benzocain.  Products with xylocaine can help to dull the pain.
  • Cayenne is another thing that can relieve canker sore pain. This is because cayenne contains capsaicin which helps to desensitize the nerves.
  • A styptic pencil can be used on canker sores to numb the nerve endings.  This is something that barbers use to stem bleeding from minor nicks and cuts.
  • A little aloe juice from the inner portion of the leaf of the aloe plant can be rinsed over the canker several times daily to help relieve pain.
  • Another rinse you can try is a mixture of 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 2 ounces of hydrogen peroxide.  Even just a salt water rinse can help.
  • Sage is a spice that can be used to calm a canker sore. Add 3 teaspoons of sage leaves to 1 pint of boiling water and rinse with it.
  • Lastly, while this won’t make the canker disappear, ice or ice water rinse can help to numb it for a while to relieve pain.

10 Home Remedies For Canker Sores|How Stuff Works

What You Should Know About Mouthwash

Nothing beats the minty fresh breath that comes from using mouthwash. But according to the makers of mouthwash, it not only freshens breath, there are many other health benefits. Unfortunately, there are a few disadvantages to using it as well. Here are some pros and cons15577897-close-up-face-of-beauty-young-woman-lips.

Mouthwash may help to fight gum disease and cut down on cavities. Many washes have fluoride which has been proven to reduce cavities. Using a mouth rinse also helps get rid of plaque and bacteria that can lead to gum disease.

Some have used mouthwash to soothe canker sores, but be careful, if the alcohol content of your mouth rinse is too high, it could actually irritate them. A simple saltwater rinse may be just as effective. Lastly, mouthwash may help you safeguard your pregnancy.  Because it can help reduce the risks of periodontal disease which can lead to preterm, low-weight babies.

A con of mouthwash is that it masks bad breath.  The minty, fresh breath only lasts so long and if you have poor oral hygiene, it is just a coverup.  Mouth rinse has also been linked to oral cancer because of the alcohol. There is no real proof of this, but you should look for a wash that has the ADA seal of acceptance.

To Mouthwash or Not To Mouthwash | Everyday Health