Anxiety happens to all of us occasionally. It's often a normal part of life that occurs when things get a little busy, you've got something you're worrying about or situations change quickly. But anxiety that's persistent - such as that associated with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia or social anxiety disorder that makes you uncomfortable and causes you to feel overwhelmed all the time - can disrupt your daily life and cause you physical side effects too. In many cases, these side effects include heartburn, a racing pulse, chest pain, headaches and digestive issues.

But there are also oral effects of anxiety.

Facts About Anxiety

Some researchers estimate that 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety. However, only about 30 percent of individuals living with anxiety receive treatment, despite many anxiety disorders being highly treatable. Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses affecting adults and children.

The Oral Effects of Anxiety

Anxiety disorders can affect your oral health and cause uncomfortable symptoms that you may not realize are part of your condition. These symptoms include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Canker sores and lichen planus, a condition that causes lacy white lines, red areas and mouth ulcers
  • Burning mouth syndrome

Some people living with an anxiety disorder may also neglect caring for their teeth, which can lead to an increased risk of gum disease and cavities.

Medications for anxiety can also negatively affect your oral health by reducing your ability to produce saliva, which can increase the risk of of tooth loss and cavities. Other medications may cause uncomfortable side effects such as vomiting, which can lead to enamel erosion, anemia and bleeding gums.

Other Effects

Anxiety can also contribute to the development of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ disorder or TMD) and tooth grinding or tooth clenching, also known as bruxism. These conditions can further affect your mouth; tooth grinding can result in worn-down teeth and enamel damage like fractures, chips and cracks, while TMD can severely impact your jaw joints, causing pain, stiffness and loss of use.

If you're feeling the effects of anxiety, we recommend that you let us know so we can help you mitigate its impact on your oral health. Call Legends Dental now in Waco, Texas, at 294-254-4040.

sleeping child

Kids and Sleep Apnea

If your child or teen is struggling to stay awake, having trouble concentrating on homework, falling behind in school, is smaller than their peers, experiencing mood swings or still wetting the bed well beyond potty training, you may be at your wit's end to find the cause — and the right treatment. You may be surprised to find out that the answer could be in how they sleep.

weight gain related to sleep apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Contributes to Weight Gain

Obstructive sleep apnea can also contribute to weight gain and obesity. Research has shown that approximately 40 percent of the people living with obesity also have obstructive sleep apnea, and 70 percent of people with obstructive sleep apnea are obese.

Growth Guidance

Overview of Symptoms in Children for Needed Growth Guidance

You may have heard the saying 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,' but do you know what it means? It means that if you take care of something today, it won't become a problem to fix later. This theory can apply to a lot of things, including home repair, car maintenance and orthodontics. That's right, we said orthodontics. Particularly, this theory applies to orthodontic treatment and children.