How anxiety affects your dental health?October 1, 2020 4:15 pm
All of us feel anxious from time to time – maybe about a job interview, an upcoming exam, or a health or family issue. These feelings of worry, fear, and being ill-at-ease are part of life, and in normal circumstances are there to protect us.
Designed as an in-built survival mechanism from the long-past days when we had to deal with life and death every day, the ‘fight or flight’ response can still be useful. For example, if you are crossing a busy road or competing for an important test, then an increased awareness of your surroundings is very valuable. However, problems can occur when that response extends past a short period of time.
When is the anxiety a problem?
The anxiety that’s persistent, seemingly uncontrollable, and overwhelming can be disabling – with a damaging effect on your life. If your anxiety is affecting the way you live your daily life – for example, if you are really going out of your way to avoid certain situations, having panic attacks, or struggling to sleep or having feelings of not being in control – then you may
have an issue that needs help.
Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, or social anxiety disorder. Each disorder has different symptoms, and the good news is that there is a range of treatments available from clinics in Dubai. These include anti-anxiety medications and psychotherapy treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which can help ‘reset’ those ways of thinking that lead to feelings of anxiety in the first place.
How can anxiety affect my dental health?
If you have excessive anxiety, then it can affect your teeth and gums in different ways. It’s important to consider how to deal with dental anxiety so that permanent damage is avoided. Your dentist in Dubai can help!
Here are some of the most frequently-diagnosed conditions caused by stress and anxiety:
- Canker sores
These are small ulcers that develop in your mouth, on the soft tissue. They can be painful, and while most will go away, if you have large sores or sores that don’t go away, you should see your dentist in Dubai.
- Dry mouth
Properly known as xerostomia, this simply means you don’t produce enough salvia in your mouth. This can, over time, lead to tooth decay if problem-causing bacteria and acids are not being neutralized and washed away.
- Lichen planus
This is an itchy rash that can develop in different parts of your body. On the inside of your mouth, it could look like lacy white lines, red areas, or form into mouth ulcers.
- Burning mouth syndrome
Sadly, this burning or scalding sensation in the mouth doesn’t often have a clear cause – though anxiety can increase your chances of developing it. It can also be linked to other conditions like dry mouth. Your dentist or doctor can help reduce symptoms and work out likely causes.
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
Known as TMJ or TMD, this means that there is a problem with your jaw working properly. You may have pain or restricted movement, clicking when you move your jaw or have headaches. Women are more prone to this, though no one knows why.
This is where you grind your teeth – and it can be linked to TMJ. Bruxism often happens at night, at a time when you are asleep and unaware of it. A TMJ specialist will be able to help provide a mouthguard or splint, to avoid damage being done to your teeth.
If you are suffering from increased anxiety – don’t suffer in silence. See a medical professional, and make sure your dentist is able to help you manage any unexpected issues for your oral health.
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