Stressed Out? Your Teeth Could Be Affected

April may have been officially designated “Stress Awareness Month,” but any month is a good time to address the potentially damaging effects of stress in our lives. It’s also a good time to remind our patients and their families that stress can, unfortunately, cause problems with your teeth and gums.


Stress-related teeth grinding and clenching, known as bruxism, can occur when you’re awake or asleep. The results are often jaw pain, headaches, teeth and gum sensitivity as well as abnormal tooth wear and even chipped teeth.

At Pennsylvania Center for Dental Implants and Periodontics, we can create custom-made nightguards for you to combat excess grinding force when you sleep. Our nightguards are an important accessory for dental implant patients who want to protect their investments!

Stress and Other Oral Health Issues

Prolonged stress can cause a release of harmful hormones that impact our oral health. These hormones can weaken the immune system which makes you more susceptible to infections like gum disease. Stress can cause negative effects when it comes to treatment outcomes for patients with periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. Studies conducted in 2022 showed a pronounced increase in cracked and chipped teeth attributed to stress during the initial outbreak of Covid-19 and up to one year later.

How To Deal With Stress?

How many of us finding ourselves in stressful situations where we can’t seem to find the time to take care of ourselves the way we should? That super-important twice daily brushing and daily flossing is at the top of the list of daily habits that can slide as a result of feeling stressed. Another side effect of stress — craving sugary food which also is bad for our teeth and gums.

The CDC offers some basic tips for dealing with stress, like deep breathing, yoga, eating well-balanced meals, talking about your issues with friends or family, exercising, getting sufficient sleep and making time for yourself (somehow!). If you have been challenged by stress and are experiencing painful chewing or sensitivity, or sense a change in your oral health, don’t ignore the symptoms.

Contact one of our two offices (Northeast Philadelphia and Ambler, PA) to assess your oral health. Untreated cracked or chipped teeth and teeth grinding or clenching can result in additional gum and tooth complications that could be more time-consuming and expensive to treat down the road. Take care of your smile NOW!

Referrals from other medical and dental practitioners are always welcomed, but not required.