You are probably aware that stress affects your body. It can affect your blood pressure, your weight, and your mood. Stress can also affect your teeth in two ways. The first is that it may cause you to snack more frequently, and on sweets. The second way it can affect your teeth is through night time tooth grinding (also called bruxism.) You probably know that frequently snacking on sweets isn’t healthy. A dentist can help you take steps to lessen or put a stop to bruxism.
Suggestions for Tooth-Friendly Snacking
When snacking with dental health in mind, consider these points:
- Eat at specific times, rather than grazing throughout the day
- Don’t suck on hard candy, chew sugary gum, or sip on sweet drinks. All these bathe your teeth in sugar, which fuels tooth decay
- Look for non-sweet, crispy, crunchy snacks. Think veggies and dip or tart apple slices
- Cheese stimulates saliva production, and adds the tooth-friendly mineral calcium to your diet
- Avoid sticky foods like sweet rolls, raisins, and caramels, unless you plan to brush after eating them
Suggestions for Dealing with Bruxism
Many people are not aware they grind their teeth, unless a partner reports it, or until they begin to suffer jaw pain or tiny tooth fractures. A dentist can examine your teeth for signs of tooth grinding, and suggest solutions such as a dental appliance, to be worn at night. Left untreated, bruxism can lead to headache, tooth ache, jaw pain and fractured teeth. While there are restorative treatments to address tooth fracture or loss, dealing with the source of tooth and jaw injury is the preferred solution.