Stress can impact oral health

Published Jan 6, 2014, 3:46 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 4:57 am IST
Subconscious grinding of teeth as a result of stress wears them down.

Hyderabad, Jan. 5: Long-term stress can have significant impact on one’s oral health, an aspect that has come to light due to the increasing incidence of gum diseases, tooth decay and also foul breath.

Teeth are the strongest parts of the body, but changing lifestyles have shown that they too are becoming more and more vulnerable.


Earlier, tooth decay and gum diseases were largely prevalent in children due to consumption of excessive chocolates and sweets. Now dentists find that more and more adolescents as well as middle-aged adults are suffering from tooth decay.

Dr A. Srikanth, secretary, Indian Dental Association said, “The number of people suffering from cavities in their adolescence and middle age is increasing. This is because when a person is stressed, he or she tends to gorge on sugary foods or sweets as it makes them feel good and also re-energises them. But due to pressure at work or home, little attention is paid to gargling or cleaning the teeth at the edges with a special brush to make sure that food is not stuck. These minor details are skipped as oral hygiene is last on the list of priorities.”


If the problem is recurrent, then one must look at other factors like changes in hormones due to stress.

Another prevalent problem is grinding of teeth subconsciously when under pressure. This tends to be replayed at night when people habitually grind their teeth in their sleep.

Dr Kishore Koya said, “Grinding or clenching of teeth can wear down or chip off teeth due to excess force on the supporting tissues. It can also cause bone loss as teeth tend to become loose. It is important that friends, colleagues or relatives take notice and stop the person or counsel him against it.”


These incidences must not be taken lightly, as it can lead to severe complications. A few steps of caution would go a long way in saving the teeth.