You may already know that stress has a number of effects on your body and mind, but did you know it affects your oral health as well? Dr. Leigh Kent is here to help treat patients who suffer from stress in Birmingham, AL, and offer four signs of how their condition may present itself through oral health.

1. Temporomandibular Disorders 
Also known as TMD, temporomandibular disorders target the jaw and neck. While stress is not known to cause the condition, it has been known to make it worse. Popping, clicking and joint pain in the jaw are signs that your TMD is flaring up, most likely because of stress that leads you to grind your teeth. To know for sure what is going on in your mouth and the true cause of your discomfort, it is best that you go to a periodontist for a proper diagnosis. 

2. Canker Sores 
Canker sores, sometimes referred to as “mouth ulcers,” are small lesions that can appear on your tongue, the interior lining of your cheeks and your palate. If you already have mouth sores, they can be made worse by stress. Effects of the ulcers include trouble eating, talking and drinking and well as sharp pain. 

3. Gum Disease 
Your stress might be causing you to have gum disease. The amount of stress you are carrying can have a direct impact on how bad your gum disease becomes. In addition to treating your gum disease directly, you should also take steps to remedy whatever it is that is making you feel stressed. 

4. Dry Mouth 
Constantly feeling as if your mouth has become a desert may be a sign that your stress has dried out your mouth as well as your nerves. Stress can cause your mouth not to produce enough saliva, which dries your mouth out. If you are currently taking medication to treat your stress or the depression that can become intertwined with stress, your prescription could be what is drying out your mouth. 

For more information about how stress can negatively impact your oral health, call Dr. Kent and the rest of her staff at 205-255-3811.