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How Stress Harms Teeth

Dr Martin Abelar - April 2, 2019 - 0 comments

It’s no myth that stress can manifest itself into physical symptoms. From acne to hair loss to body tension, stress doesn’t just take its toll on us emotionally – it can take its toll on our bodies in ways we never imagined. But did you know that stress can also take a toll on another very specific area of the body: the mouth? According to Psychology Today, it’s true! Here’s how what’s stressing you could also be harming your oral health.

Canker Sores

Canker sores are somewhat of an oral health enigma. These harmless little mouth ulcers can appear seemingly out of nowhere, and most of the time you won’t know why. One of their causes, however, is stress (along with hormones and mouth irritation). If you are feeling stressed and notice an increase in the number of canker sores you’ve been getting, don’t panic – the two are likely related.


When we are stressed, our bodies can easily clench up with tension, from our backs to our shoulders to our jaws. Unfortunately, this can cause pain and stiffness in the body – and it may even cause bruxism, or teeth grinding. Teeth grinding may not seem dangerous, but your teeth are pretty strong, so grinding them into each other could cause them to chip, crack or wear down unevenly. If you are stressed out and find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, speak to Dr. Abelar about getting a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth from wear and damage.

Burning Mouth Syndrome

This little-known condition causes burn-like symptoms in the mouth, including peeling patches that look and feel as though you’ve burned your mouth. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition, but it tends to strike women who are peri or post-menopausal and over the age of 50. If you believe you may have burning mouth syndrome, speak to Dr. Abelar about finding a method to treat the symptoms.

Nail Biting

Though nail biting isn’t really a mouth disorder, it can cause a lot of damage to the teeth and gums. If you find that your stress level is causing you to bite your nails, try using a bitter nail polish or chewing gum instead.

Stress happens to – and gets the best of – all of us from time to time, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. If you are feeling more stressed than usual and it’s causing these or any other worrisome habits or behavior, speak to a medical professional. To speak to Dr. Abelar, please call (858) 866-9692.

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