Stress can hurt your mouth – especially for those under 35
We’re well on our way into 2017 and are just about to finish up the first three months of the year. Well, as anyone should be aware today, there’s a lot of stress going around for one reason or another. I’m not writing today about the issues, but the outcome: stress.
Stress is not only bad for your emotional well-being, but it has a direct effect on your mouth as well.
Ever hear of “Trench Mouth?” It’s a term with an origin in the first World War, which was primarily fought across a series of trenches. The stress of battle, poor hygiene and poor diet all contributed to acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) and the establishment of the discomforting title of the disease. Unlike trench warfare, ANUG hasn’t disappeared over time and is actually cited in medical literature as being a threat especially to those under the age of 35.
The reason: stress with a contributing factor of poor diet from long working hours and fueled by such things as coffee and energy drinks. In 2007 the Australian Dental Association issued a press release about stress risks and oral health concerns and how those 18-30 years old were at the highest risk.
Mount Sinai Hospital’s webpage about ANUG notes that it “causes ulcers, swelling and dead tissues in the mouth” and is brought on by excess bacteria and symptoms can include:
- Pain in the gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Bad taste in the mouth; extremely bad breath
- Red and swollen gums
- Gray residue on the gums
- Large ulcers or loss of gum tissue in between teeth
- Swollen lymph nodes
In addition to paying closer attention to your diet and how your job or other activities affect your daily routines of eating and oral hygiene, you should also make sure to brush twice daily and floss as well as maintain a solid preventive schedule of cleanings and exams with your dentist.