Though restrictions stemming from the global COVID-19 pandemic are lifting in many areas, lingering stress remains in many people worldwide. Heightened stress can lead to health risks, including in your smile. If your mouth does not feel its best, then your smile will not look its best either.
If you are aware of the habits and behaviors that come from stress, you can prevent cosmetic dental damage to your teeth and gums. Read on to see three ways that stress can negatively impact the appearance of your smile.
What Stress Habits Can Hurt the Look of My Smile?
Drinking Beverages That Stain Teeth
Stress can disrupt your sleep schedule. If you wake up feeling groggy, you may turn to a cup of coffee or tea for a caffeine boost to get you through your day.
The dark color in tea and coffee comes from naturally occurring substances called tannins. These will absorb into your teeth over time, leaving dark stains on your teeth that your normal oral hygiene routine cannot brush away.
Your dentist can offer professional teeth whitening treatments to give you a brighter smile if you do form these stains. But you can prevent discoloration if you limit these types of beverages and pay attention to your smile.
Breaking Teeth by Grinding and Clenching the Jaw
You can collect tension throughout your body if you feel stressed. The tension can manifest in the jaw, initiating or exacerbating a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth. This behavior may be annoying, but it also generates abnormally high pressure on the teeth.
Your teeth endure wear and tear regularly without issue. But the pressure created when grating the top teeth against the bottom ones can be high enough to crack, chip, or fracture the teeth. You will require urgent dental treatment to restore your smile after this injury.
In many cases, patients may grind their teeth without their notice, such as during sleep. A dentist may suggest that these patients wear a custom-made night guard as they sleep to protect their teeth from this behavior. It can cushion the teeth against this pressure, preventing structural dental damage.
Skipping Routine Dental Appointments to Save Time
If you feel stressed, you may feel tempted to skip a routine appointment with your dentist to save yourself time and hassle. But these visits give you crucial preventative dental care that will help you preserve the look and health of your teeth and gums.
During these appointments, a dentist will clean your teeth, scraping away plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach spots of your mouth. If left on your smile, these residues can deteriorate the appearance and structure of the teeth.
Make sure you schedule regular exams and cleanings with your dentist to maintain good oral health. These appointments also ensure that you do not have early signs of dental problems. Examples include cavities or gum disease, which could impact the way that your smile appears.