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Is Stress Taking a Toll On Your Mouth? Here’s How to Tell

Stress and anxiety are hard on your body and can cause a variety of health problems, including headaches, heartburn, muscle tension and even irregular menstrual periods.

And did you know that stress can also affect your oral health? Here are some tell-tale warning signs that stress is taking a toll in your mouth.


Stress often leads to bruxism, or teeth clenching and grinding. It may happen without you even realizing it. Constantly clenching or grinding your teeth can wear down the enamel, causing tooth sensitivity or making the teeth look worn. Also, it can put extreme stress on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Stressing the TMJ can lead to extreme pain, headaches and migraines as well as problems with the way the teeth fit together when the mouth is closed.

Canker Sores

Canker sores are small white or gray spots with red borders that appear inside the mouth either individually or in small clusters. They often develop because of trauma (biting the inside of the cheek or brushing zealously). Experts have found that stress is likely to increase the chances of developing canker sores.

Interestingly, studies have found that canker sores are prevalent in students during the school year — but are less frequent during breaks and after graduation, when stress is presumably less of a problem.

Gum Disease

Research has found a link between stress and gum (periodontal) disease. Studies from several leading universities discovered that stress played a large role in the development of periodontal disease, and the severity of the disease increased with the amount of stress in a person’s life. These studies also found that stress from financial problems presented the greatest risk for developing gum disease.

When to Seek Treatment

Managing stress through yoga, meditation, therapy or exercise is helpful in reducing the risk of related problems in the mouth. If, however, you have experienced jaw pain or constant headaches that you believe might be linked to problems with your jaw joint, our team here at Pasadena Pain Management should perform an evaluation.

Schedule your FREE consultation today online, or give us a call: 626-773-8333.

About Pasadena Pain Management

Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.