Though restrictions related to the global COVID-19 pandemic are lifting in many areas, many people feel lingering stress from this public health crisis. High stress levels can lead to many health issues, including your smile.
If your oral health starts to decline, your smile will also no longer appear as beautiful as it once did. If you know what problems could contribute to these cosmetic dental concerns, you can avoid this type of damage to your smile. Read on to learn about three stress-related behaviors that could harm the look and feel of your smile.
Cosmetic Threats to Your Smile from Stress
Drinking Beverages That Stain Teeth
Heightened stress can disrupt your sleep schedule. Low-quality or less sleep may leave you feeling groggy during the day, and you might rely on caffeinated beverages to boost your energy. But drinks like coffee and tea get their dark color from substances called tannins.
Tannins absorb into your teeth over time, leaving deep stains on the surface that will not go away by brushing or flossing your teeth. Dental discoloration can hurt your confidence over time, so be careful when drinking beverages like this to avoid harming your tooth color.
If you do form stains on your teeth, ask your dentist about teeth whitening treatment options. You can schedule a cosmetic dental consultation to determine a personalized plan to enhance your tooth color.
Grinding and Clenching Teeth
Stress will build tension throughout the body, including near your mouth. You might notice yourself clenching your jaw more frequently or grinding your teeth. This behavior, known as bruxism, might occur without your notice, such as during sleep.
The grating of the top teeth against the bottom teeth will generate additional pressure in your mouth. It can cause chronic jaw pain and wear down your teeth. Bruxism may even lead to tooth breakage that will disrupt the look of your smile.
You can protect your teeth and jaw from this behavior as you sleep by getting a custom night guard from your dentist. Wear this appliance over your teeth to cushion them against grinding that happens during sleep. If you do chip or crack a tooth, contact your dentist for urgent repair to restore your smile.
Skipping Dentist Appointments
When stressed, you may feel tempted to skip routine appointments like a dental check-up. You think you can avoid the hassle of visiting an office in person. But missing this preventative dental care can leave your smile at risk.
During these regular visits, a dentist will clean your teeth, specifically in hard-to-reach spots of the mouth like near the gumline. This removes plaque that could cause problems like cavities or gum disease. But it also keeps your teeth strong enough to resist surface stains so that they continue looking their best.
Attend your routine dental appointments as scheduled and as directed by your dentist. Find the best preventative care plan for your unique dental needs by calling your dentist today.