20118 N 67th Ave Ste 308

Glendale, AZ 85308

Stressed Out? It Shows in your Teeth and Gums

Unshaven man clenches his teeth and balls his fists in frustration.

In today’s fast-paced world, stress seems to be an inevitable part of our lives. While we often talk about the impact of stress on our mental well-being and sleep patterns, we overlook one surprising area that bears its brunt—our teeth. Yes, you read that right! There’s a strong link between the stress you feel and the health of your smile. At Smile Science Dental Spa in beautiful Glendale, AZ, we often encounter patients unaware of this connection, which is why we believe it’s crucial to shed light on this topic.

The Science Behind Stress and Dental Health

A young man clenching his teeth in frustration.

Delving deeper into the science of it, stress triggers the release of hormones like cortisol. Elevated levels of cortisol can reduce the immune response, making the mouth more susceptible to bacterial infections and inflammation. Furthermore, many people under stress develop habits like teeth grinding or clenching, often done unconsciously, especially during sleep. This not only wears down the tooth enamel but can also lead to sensitivity, pain, and even fractures.

Another indirect consequence of stress is the neglect of oral hygiene. When overwhelmed, individuals might skip brushing, flossing, or even regular dental check-ups. Combine this with potential stress-induced unhealthy eating habits, and it’s a recipe for cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems.

While our team at Smile Science Dental Spa emphasizes the importance of maintaining oral hygiene routines and regular dental visits, we also understand the role of stress in disrupting these practices. That’s why Dr. Dawson and Dr. Turke, our esteemed dentists, are always on hand to provide guidance, treatments, and preventive measures to keep that sparkling smile intact even during challenging times.

Common Dental Problems Linked to Stress

A child pulls their bottom lip away to reveal a canker sore.

When life’s pressures mount, our bodies often respond in unexpected ways. In the realm of dental health, stress can manifest in several conditions, some of which may take us by surprise:

  • Bruxism (teeth grinding): One of the most common stress-related dental issues, bruxism often occurs unconsciously, especially during sleep. The grinding can result in tooth wear, enamel damage, and jaw discomfort. Over time, unchecked bruxism can lead to severe dental problems and even tooth loss.
  • Gum Disease: Chronic stress, as mentioned earlier, can weaken our immune system, making it easier for bacteria to invade and inflame the gums. This can progress to gingivitis, and if not treated timely, more severe periodontitis.
  • Tooth Decay: Stress can sometimes lead to neglect in oral hygiene or an increase in the consumption of sugary snacks and drinks. Both scenarios are prime environments for cavities to form.
  • Canker Sores: These small, painful ulcers inside the mouth aren’t entirely understood, but there’s a consensus among dental professionals that they can be triggered or exacerbated by stress.

How Dr. Dawson and Dr. Turke Address Stress-Related Dental Issues

At Smile Science Dental Spa, Dr. Dawson and Dr. Turke bring a combination of experience, compassion, and advanced techniques to address dental issues, especially those stemming from stress.

  • Expertise in Handling Stress-related Dental Problems: Understanding the intimate connection between stress and oral health, both doctors have honed their skills to identify and treat the repercussions of stress on the mouth. Whether it’s crafting a custom night guard for a patient with bruxism or offering advanced treatments for gum disease, they’re equipped to tackle a range of stress-induced dental challenges.
  • Background in General and Cosmetic Dentistry: Dr. Dawson and Dr. Turke are not only seasoned general dentists but also have an impressive background in cosmetic dentistry. Their dual expertise means that they not only address the root cause of dental problems but also ensure that the solutions offered align with aesthetic goals. So, if stress has taken a toll on your teeth, rest assured that our team in Glendale, AZ, can restore both the health and beauty of your smile.

Tips to Manage Stress and Protect Your Teeth

A young woman meditates in the wilderness beside a creek.

Stress, an omnipresent specter in modern life, doesn’t just meddle with your peace of mind but can also play havoc with your dental health. But don’t worry! There are multiple ways to combat stress and ensure your teeth remain shielded from its adverse effects.

  • Daily Oral Care Routines: It might sound basic, but maintaining a strict regimen of brushing twice a day and flossing daily can make a massive difference. These practices help ward off bacteria that capitalize on a weakened immune system due to stress.
  • Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Incorporating mindfulness exercises, like meditation or deep breathing, can drastically reduce stress. Yoga, known for its relaxation benefits, can also be a great addition. As your stress diminishes, the strain on your oral health will reduce concurrently.
  • Scheduling Regular Check-ups at Smile Science Dental Spa: Regular visits to our practice in Glendale, AZ, mean that Dr. Dawson and Dr. Turke can catch early signs of stress-induced dental issues. Early detection often translates to simpler and less invasive treatments.

Cosmetic Dentistry Solutions for Stress-Damaged Teeth

A comparison of porcelain veneers before and after

Stress can sometimes leave visible scars on our teeth, from grinding-induced wear to discoloration. At Smile Science Dental Spa, we offer state-of-the-art cosmetic solutions to erase these signs and bring back your confident smile.

  • Porcelain Veneers: Thin shells crafted to perfection, veneers cover the front surface of the teeth. They’re fantastic for correcting chips, severe discoloration, or wear caused by grinding.
  • Teeth Whitening: Stress-induced habits like increased coffee consumption or smoking can stain teeth over time. Our advanced teeth-whitening solutions at the Glendale clinic will rejuvenate your smile, making it brighter and more radiant.
  • Other Treatments: Apart from the mentioned treatments, we offer a plethora of other cosmetic solutions tailored to individual needs. Whether it’s bonding, crowns, or inlays and onlays, Dr. Dawson and Dr. Turke ensure that every patient walks out of Smile Science Dental Spa with a smile that not only feels healthy but looks stunning too.

Emergency Treatments for Severe Cases

Emergencies are unexpected and often come without warning. In the world of dental health, delaying treatment during an emergency can result in exacerbated issues and prolonged pain.

  • Importance of Seeking Treatment During Dental Emergencies: Immediate attention during dental emergencies not only alleviates pain but can also save a tooth from being lost. Whether it’s a knocked-out tooth, a severe toothache, or a broken dental appliance, time is of the essence. Delaying treatment can make the difference between a simple, straightforward solution and a complex, potentially costly one.
  • Our Team Is Always Ready: At Smile Science Dental Spa, we understand the unpredictability of dental emergencies. That’s why our dedicated team, led by Dr. Dawson and Dr. Turke, is always prepared to assist patients in times of urgency. With a commitment to provide the best care, our Glendale, AZ, clinic is equipped with the latest technology to address and treat dental emergencies promptly.


Our teeth, often a reflection of our overall health, can sometimes bear the brunt of life’s stresses. While managing stress is a collective challenge, neglecting its effects on our oral health can lead to long-term complications. Regular care, awareness, and timely interventions are the keys to preserving that perfect smile.

At Smile Science Dental Spa in Glendale, AZ, our mission goes beyond treating teeth. We believe in educating our patients, offering the best preventive measures, and being there during times of dental crises.

If stress is impacting your dental health or if you’re simply in need of a comprehensive dental check-up, Dr. Dawson, Dr. Turke, and the Smile Science team invite you to experience top-tier dental care in a calming, spa-like environment. Remember, a healthy smile is just a visit away! Book your appointment with us today.

Further Reading

  1. Oral Conditions Caused by Stress
  2. Current stress and poor oral health
  3. Work stress and oral conditions: a systematic review of observational studies
  4. Stress and periodontal disease: The link and logic!!
author avatar
Richard Dawson, DMD General Dentist
Dr. Richard Dawson, DMD, is a prominent dentist in Glendale, AZ, focused on cosmetic, implant, and emergency dentistry. A graduate of Midwestern University, he co-founded Smile Science Dental Spa with Dr. John Turke in February 2023. Passionate about helping patients achieve beautiful and healthy smiles, Dr. Dawson brings a blend of expertise and compassion to his practice. He regularly shares insights and tips on dental health on his blog, providing valuable information for both new and existing patients alike.


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