The restrictions, risks, and regulations associated with the ongoing global pandemic have increased stress levels in a majority of people. This added stress can be harmful to your overall wellbeing, including your oral health.
If your oral health suffers, your smile may not look its best. Dr. Michael Mulkey, a dentist located in Marietta, GA, describes three stress-induced habits that could negatively impact the appearance of your smile.
Oral Stress Habits That Could Harm Your Smile
Drinking Teeth-Staining Beverages
Heightened stress can affect your sleep schedule. If you wake up feeling groggy, you may reach for a cup of tea or coffee for a caffeine boost to get you through your day.
Beverages like coffee and tea get their dark color from tannins, which can absorb into your tooth enamel and leave stains on the surface of your teeth over time. This discoloration cannot be removed with typical oral hygiene efforts.
While drinking through a straw or adding milk to your beverage may lower the risk of staining your smile, they will not eliminate the chances entirely. For this reason, dentists recommend limiting or avoiding these beverages to preserve your tooth color. If you notice staining or yellowing in your smile, you can ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatment.
Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth
Stress can increase the likelihood of a dental patient grinding or clenching their teeth, a behavior called bruxism. The grating of top teeth against bottom teeth creates immense pressure that could cause teeth to chip or crack.
Sometimes this behavior can occur during sleep and a patient may be unaware of the extent of the issue. Your dentist may recommend that you wear a mouthguard at night to protect your smile from unconscious bruxism.
Skipping Routine Dental Cleanings
The chaos of the pandemic has led many patients to cancel their routine dental appointments rather than schedule a visit with restrictions in place. This can mean your oral health may decline.
During these appointments, dentists clean your teeth and gums and perform crucial exams to keep your smile healthy. Skipping preventative dental care can mean you are more likely to develop serious dental problems that will require extensive treatment to repair.
Cosmetic Dentistry Experts in Marietta, GA
Lost Mountain Dental offers professional teeth whitening services and other cosmetic dentistry solutions to patients in Marietta, GA. Our practice also specializes in restorative and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with our team, contact us online or reach us by phone at 678.212.1280.