Dr n. med. Agnieszka Laskus

Can stress affect dental health?

Stress is a factor that has a significant impact on oral health. Quite often stressed people pay less attention to oral hygiene and intensify bad habits, such as smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or using other drugs that may be harmful to periodontal health. In addition, stress promotes reduced secretion of saliva, which in combination with poorer hygiene is the main factor in the excessive deposition of plaque, which leads to the formation of caries and periodontitis. Among the common problems associated with stress is also mentioned: gums bleeding, bad breath, chewing pain, hypersensitivity of teeth to heat and cold.

Long-lasting psychological tension and stress can also affect the appearance of psychosomatic disorders — increased jaw clenching or pathological friction with the teeth of the mandible against the teeth of the jaws, called bruxism. Locally, there are clashes of tooth enamel, damage to parodontium structures, lowering of short-circuits, and temporomandibular joint dysfunctions. Increased tension of the masseter and facial muscles leads to problems associated with headaches (of temporal and frontal area), neck, face up to spinal problems, shoulder girdles or even hocks. So stress has its direct and indirect impact on the health and appearance of our teeth, periodontium as well as other areas of the body.

For the dental treatment of people with excessive stress to be fully effective, patients should additionally seek to reduce the level of nervous tension, including through physical activity, balanced diet, adequate sleep and a positive mindset.

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Mieszkam i pracuję w Warszawie. Praktykę lekarską prowadzę od ponad dwudziestu lat. Jestem współwłaścicielką kliniki stomatologicznej Trio-Dent, gdzie leczę pacjentów, prowadzę badania naukowe, ale też udzielam pomocy osobom, które jej potrzebują.