How Does Stress Harm Smile Aesthetics?

COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and regulations have lifted in many areas. But many people experience lingering stress from the ordeal of the global public health crisis. High stress can lead to many health problems, including in your teeth and gums.

If your smile does not feel its best, its appearance will begin to deteriorate as well. Certain behaviors can contribute to this threat to your smile, and stress can worsen them. Read on to learn which habits that stem from heightened stress could pose a serious risk to the appearance of your smile.

stress impacts oral health

3 Stress-Related Behaviors That Can Impact the Look of Your Smile

Overconsumption of Beverages That Stain Teeth

Stress can disrupt your sleep schedule. If you do not get enough sleep or experience low-quality sleep, you might turn to caffeinated beverages like tea or coffee for an energy boost to get through your busy day.

But coffee and tea get their dark color from substances called tannins. They can transfer and absorb deep into your tooth enamel over time, leaving behind stains that will not go away with your usual oral hygiene routine.

You can reduce your risk of staining your smile with these drinks by adding milk to the beverage or sipping through a straw. But they will not eliminate the danger entirely.

You might want to limit the amount of dark-colored beverages you consume to preserve your tooth color. If you do notice yellowing, staining, or other discoloration in your smile, talk to your dentist about teeth whitening solutions.

Grinding and Clenching Your Teeth

Stress can create tension throughout the body, including in your jaw. This can then initiate or exacerbate a teeth grinding or clenching habit, a behavior also known as bruxism. The grating of the top teeth against the bottom teeth will wreak havoc on your smile over time.

Bruxism may cause tooth breakage, damage existing dental work, and lead to jaw dysfunction. To avoid cosmetic and structural dental problems, talk to your dentist about ways to stop clenching and grinding your teeth.

One way a dentist can help you is to give you a custom-made night guard to wear as you sleep. This can cushion your teeth against grinding that may occur during the night without your notice. This preventative measure can protect the look and feel of your smile against this behavior.

Skipping Routine Dentist Appointments

When you feel stressed, you might feel tempted to avoid the hassle of scheduling a dentist appointment and going to the office for your routine check-up. But your dentist provides crucial care to your smile during these appointments that will fight off dental conditions that may impact the appearance of your teeth.

Attending teeth cleanings and oral exams on a regular basis will help you avoid a dental emergency and maintain a beautiful smile. Lingering plaque will weaken your teeth, making them more susceptible to stains and irreversible damage. So schedule dental visits as your dentist recommends rather than skip them.