Stress has been identified as a cause of tooth loss, with one expert highlighting that, with stress affecting so many British adults, people need to be aware of its impact on dental health.
The London Tooth Wear Centre has reminded people that there are a variety of ways that stress can adversely affect oral health, but it particularly highlights tooth grinding – something that many individuals won’t be aware they are doing.
Indeed, people often grind their teeth in their sleep if they are stressed, which can lead to a variety of problems including increased sensitivity, gum problems and even tooth loss. It could also cause headaches and neck aches, as well as issues with chewing.
So, what can be done to prevent stress-associated oral health problems? Of course, if a person is concerned about their teeth, their first port of call should always be a dentist, who is best placed to diagnose and treat any issues.
In the case of teeth grinding during sleep, a dentist may call on other professionals, such as physiotherapists, to assist with tackling the problem, as they may be able to help relax the muscles around the jaw.
In terms of prevention, relieving stress before sleep is likely to be key. The centre suggests choosing relaxing activities before going to bed, such as taking a bath or reading, but exactly how you unwind doesn’t matter – it is simply important that you feel relaxed.
The Mental Health Foundation suggests a variety of ways that people can look after their mental health and combat stress. These include eating a healthy diet (something that can also directly benefit teeth), exercising and taking regular breaks during the day, even if these are only short.