Understanding How Stress May Impact Your Child’s Smile

For years, doctors have been telling adults that stress can increase the likelihood of everything from depression to high blood pressure and everything in between. However, most people don’t think about the impact of stress on their smiles. 

Unfortunately, it’s not just adults that have to deal with stress. Children also face stress, and it can have a huge impact on their smiles. In fact, children are also quite susceptible to oral issues. 

Cold and Canker Sores 

Cold sores occur because of the herpes simplex virus. While scientists don’t know the specific causes of canker sores, they believe they are caused by a weak immune system, virus, or infection. If your child tends to develop mouth sores, you likely already know that stress can cause them or increase the healing time. 

Take time to discuss this with the dentist. They can provide advice regarding stress reduction, diet changes, and medications that may help. 

Teeth Grinding 

Bruxism, which is better known as teeth grinding, can cause a lot of damage to your teeth and smile. It begins with enamel wear, followed by loose teeth, and at some point, tooth loss. There could be other issues during the progression, such as TMD (Temporomandibular Disorders), headaches, and gum recession. 

Have you noticed that your child grinds their teeth? If so, now is the time to address the situation. Along with stress, there could be other factors that have caused or worsened this condition. Some of the factors include prescription anxiety and depression medications or malocclusion, which is a bad bite. 

Sometimes your child’s dentist can protect your child’s teeth and help ensure their jaw remains in the proper position while they are asleep. Other possible treatments for this condition include medication, physical therapy, mandibular advancement devices, relaxation therapies, and cognitive behavior therapy. 

Temporomandibular Disorders 

Several direct and indirect factors can cause TMD. For example, unmanaged stress can result in jaw clenching, which causes jaw joint pain. Some of the other symptoms of TMD include swelling, pain, or tenderness in the shoulder, face, ear, or neck. You may also notice clicking or popping sounds or changes in your child’s bite alignment. 

Gum Disease 

Stress is something that can impact your body and mind in many ways. Unfortunately, it may inhibit your child’s ability to fight plaque build-up. Over time, this build-up may lead to serious cases of gum disease. If this is caught soon enough, it is treatable, but at some point, gum disease can cause more serious problems, which is why regular checkups with your child’s dentist are so important. 

Keeping Your Child Stress Free and Ensuring Their Good Oral Health

Many grown-ups don’t realize how much stress can impact their child’s life. Unfortunately, it can in many ways. Because of this, it is a good idea to speak to your child’s dentist about ways to reduce stress and reduce the impact of stress on your child’s oral health. By doing this, you can help them maintain good oral health throughout their life.