Stress can have devastating effects on your mouth

Our mouth is- excuse the pun- one of our most telling places on the body. It is where we express language, receive sustenance, show joy, sing and kiss. When you are stressed, your mouth shows it in spades. You’d be surprised how much your dentist can surmise about you from the state of your mouth…

Dentists routinely see oral symptoms of stress, including orofacial pain, cold sores and temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

“At the first sign of oral pain or infection, it’s important to see your dentist,” says Academy of General Dentistry spokesperson Peter Bastian, DDS, MAGD. “These symptoms may be your mouth’s warning signs for more serious health risks.”

Dentists know that stress and stress-related disorders, including mental illnesses such as depression, are contributing factors to heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, accidental injuries and suicide ? all leading causes of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Reviewed: January 2012