Stress Can Hurt the Look of Teeth

Though restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are lifting, many individuals still suffer from heightened stress due to the global public health scare. Stress notoriously causes medical problems, but it can harm your oral health too.

It may also lead you to indulge in habits that can cause your beautiful teeth to diminish. Understanding the effect of these actions can make you better able to avoid them and keep your smile looking and feeling its best. Read on to learn about three stress-related behaviors that can negatively impact the way that your smile appears.

prevent dental damage in Clarkston Michigan

Cosmetic Dental Problems Stemming from Stress

Dark-Colored Beverages Stain Teeth

Stress can disrupt your sleep schedule. If you wake up feeling groggy, you may turn to a cup of coffee or tea to get you through your busy day.

Tea and coffee get their dark color from substances called tannins. These can absorb into tooth enamel over time, leaving stains behind on the surface of your teeth.

Some people may lower the risk of tooth discoloration from these drinks by adding milk to their beverage, sipping through a straw, or choosing a lighter-colored brew. But these efforts will not stop this risk entirely.

This is why dentists suggest limiting the amount of coffee and tea you consume if you want to preserve your tooth color. If you do notice yellowing or staining in your smile, ask your dentist about teeth whitening options.

Grinding Teeth Can Alter Tooth Shape

Increased stress levels may cause you to start or worsen a teeth-grinding habit. Grinding and clenching your teeth, a habit known as bruxism, generates pressure on your teeth and jaw. This grating can make your durable teeth crack, chip, or fracture. You may also risk harming prior dental work, like fillings and crowns.

To protect the shape of your teeth and avoid needing emergency dental repairs, your dentist will want you to stop this behavior. Since it is largely unconscious and may occur during sleep, this can be difficult to address.

Your dentist may give you a custom-made night guard to wear as you sleep. This can cushion your teeth against bruxism. It will also keep your jaw aligned in a position of rest to reduce this behavior.

Skipping Teeth Cleanings Weakens Your Smile

If you feel stressed, it may seem easier to skip leaving your house and scheduling routine appointments with your dentist. However, your dentist conducts necessary teeth cleaning and preventative dental care during these visits. If you miss these appointments, you could put your smile at risk of major dental problems that impact both its health and appearance.

You should visit your dentist for routine cleanings and oral exams every six months or otherwise directed. Even if you practice diligent oral hygiene at home, you need your dentist to clean your teeth. They remove plaque from hard-to-reach spots of your mouth that can cause severe dental issues if they linger on your smile.