Kristopher Kostenko DDS - Estacada Dental - eNewsletter
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Kristopher Kostenko DDS - Estacada Dental December 2020 Newsletter Forward to a Friend   Submit Question
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Dangerous Effects Stress Can Have on Your Mouth
Long-term stress can wreak havoc on our bodies since stress is only meant to be a short-term response to fight-or-flight situations. It's not surprising that long-term stress can be a threat to our oral health.

Direct Stress-Related Threats to Oral Health
The most common stress-related disorder is teeth-grinding, also known as bruxism. Teeth-grinding during sleep wears down teeth, damaging the enamel and exposing teeth to cavities; severe bruxism can loosen teeth or remove them completely. TMJ disorder is also triggered by stress, and it inflames the jaw and ears with pain and swelling.

Indirect Stress-Related Threats to Oral Health
Long-term stress weakens our immune systems, rendering us vulnerable to illnesses. Canker sores are one possible problem that can arise from an immune system compromised by stress. Long-term stress also increases the odds of developing gum disease, which causes a variety of problems such as loose or missing teeth, bleeding gums, and bad breath. Dry mouth can be triggered by stress, depression, and bad habits that stem from stress such as smoking and nail-biting.

Lower Stress for Your Mouth's Sake
The longer stress persists, the more damage it can do to our bodies, so controlling our stress levels should be a high priority. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep is a great first step, though external aid such as guidance from a primary care provider and mouthguards may be needed to facilitate this. Professional counseling or talking with a trusted friend can help people with stress cope and prioritize. Finally, making to-do lists and scheduling relaxation time will make daily life more manageable.

Is Ice Chewing a Habit You Should Give Up?
Ice chewing is a significant threat to oral health. Due to the density of the ice cubes, chewing ice can damage the entire mouth. Chewing ice can wear down the jaw muscles and make them sore. Chewing ice also erodes enamel, moves teeth out of position, and damages dental work such as braces.

Breaking the Ice Chewing Habit
Ice-chewing can be a symptom of anemia, so visiting a primary care provider is a great first step. For those who chew ice due to dry mouth, drinking more cold beverages may be the solution to ice chewing. And eating slush can be an acceptable alternative to ice chewing due to the small size of the shavings.

Why Whitened Teeth Sometimes Feel Sensitive After Whitening
Whitening is a popular cosmetic procedure that gives patients confidence in their smiles. However, tooth sensitivity is a common temporary side-effect of whitening. This is because whitening treatments use bleaching agents that remove enamel and form small pores - called microtubules - that expose the tooth's roots.

Treating Tooth Sensitivity after Whitening
While the sensitivity lasts, it is important to be gentle when brushing to prevent compounding the damage to the enamel. Acidic beverages and foods such as soda and citrus should be avoided until the sensitivity subsides. Attending routine visits to the dentist will reduce the chances of tooth sensitivity being a long-term problem.


Kristopher Kostenko DDS - Estacada Dental | | 503-630-4211
103 SW Highway 224, Suite A, Estacada, OR 97023



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