Stress can take a toll on your body and health in numerous ways, including your smile. You might not realize that you can develop unconscious habits and behaviors that come from high stress levels and then hurt your oral health. Over time, these behaviors can impact the appearance of your smile too.
Aesthetic concerns in your teeth can lead to a blow to your overall self-esteem. So pay attention to your smile’s appearance, especially when you feel stressed. Knowing the potential risks that stem from increased levels of stress can help you prevent them. So read on to discover three ways that stress-related habits can lead to cosmetic damage to your smile.
Overconsuming Beverages with Staining Agents
Stress can disrupt many aspects of your schedule, including your sleeping habits. If you wake up feeling groggy, you may turn to a caffeinated beverage like tea or coffee for an energy boost to get through your day. But dark-colored drinks like coffee and tea get their color from substances called tannins.
Tannins can transfer to your teeth as you consume them and absorb into your tooth enamel. Then they can leave dark stains behind on the surface of your teeth that will not go away with your usual oral hygiene regimen.
You can lower the risk of dental discoloration by diluting the beverage with milk or sipping through a straw. But this will not eliminate the danger entirely. Pay attention to the way these drinks affect your smile. If you do see stains on your smile, ask your dentist about teeth whitening solutions that can brighten your tooth color.
Worsening Teeth-Grinding Habits
Increased stress levels will put a strain on your body that can manifest in tension. Tension within your jaw will tighten muscles that can start or worsen certain oral habits like grinding or clenching your teeth. This habit, known as bruxism, can cause a number of dental problems. But it can harm the appearance of your smile too.
Though your teeth are durable and can endure wear and tear while chewing, the high pressure from bruxism can cause a tooth to chip or crack. This dental injury will disrupt the look of your smile as well as put your teeth in danger of further dental issues. Talk to your dentist about treating bruxism and protecting your smile.
Skipping Routine Dental Appointments
When you feel stressed, it can feel tempting to skip certain routines in order to relieve some of this strain. You might think you can miss one of your regular dental appointments. But this could lead to consequences for the health and appearance of your smile.
During these routine dental visits, your dentist scrapes away plaque and tartar build-up that your toothbrush cannot reach during your at-home oral hygiene regimen. This teeth cleaning keeps your teeth healthy as well as free of surface stains. Make sure you attend these check-ups as directed by your dentist, usually every six months.