Many individuals have heightened levels of stress after a year of restrictions and regulations stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. This stress can take its toll on your physical and mental health. Your oral health can also suffer from this added anxiety. Stress can affect your teeth and gums and lead to cosmetic damage that may leave your smile looking less than its best. Dr. Ken Boenning, a dentist in Towson, MD, describes stress-related behaviors that may require cosmetic dentistry solutions.
Enamel staining beverages
Stress can affect the amount of sleep you get at night, as well as the quality of sleep. When you feel groggy when you are not well-rested, you may turn to coffee or tea for a caffeine boost to get you through the day. Dark-colored beverages like these contain tannins that can absorb tooth enamel and stain your teeth. Adding milk or choosing lighter-colored brews might lower this risk but not avoid discoloration completely. These beverages are best enjoyed in moderation to protect your tooth color. Patients already experiencing yellowed, stained, or discolored teeth can speak to their dentist about professional teeth whitening treatment.
Teeth grinding habits
Stress-related to the pandemic can lead to habits such as teeth grinding or clenching. This behavior, known as bruxism, often occurs unconsciously. The grating of the top and bottom rows of teeth might leave you with a sore jaw, but it can also cause cosmetic damage to your teeth. This abnormal pressure may cause your teeth to chip, crack, or break. Severe cases may require restorative dental solutions.
Mild instances of tooth damage can be amended with cosmetic tooth bonding. Your dentist can fill gaps between teeth and chips and cracks in your teeth with a resin-like substance to restore your smile’s appearance. To treat the grinding behavior, your dentist may recommend that you wear a mouthguard at night to protect your teeth as you sleep.
Skipped dental cleanings
Pandemic restrictions and the accompanying stress may have led you to cancel or skip your regular dental appointments. This can be detrimental to your oral health as well as the appearance of your smile. During routine appointments, your dentist thoroughly cleans your teeth, removing plaque and tartar that can cause tooth decay and gum disease if left untreated. Without this cleaning, your enamel can weaken and will not be strong enough to maintain an optimal appearance. With clean and healthy teeth and gums, your smile can have a stable foundation to look its best.
Cosmetic dentistry available in Towson, MD
Boenning & Dancykier Dental Implants & Cosmetic Dentistry provides cosmetic dental solutions and treatment to patients in Towson, MD. Dr. Boenning and the rest of our team also specialize in general and restorative dentistry. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 410.324.2294.