Negative Cosmetic Impacts from Pandemic Stress

The risks and restrictions resulting from the ongoing global pandemic have led many individuals to experience higher levels of stress. Stress can be harmful to your overall wellbeing, including your oral health.

Deteriorating oral health can mean your smile no longer looks its best. Dr. Sahil Goyal describes three stress-related behaviors that can contribute to cosmetic dental damage and require dentistry intervention to amend.

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Teeth-Staining Beverage Choices

Heightened stress levels can disrupt sleep patterns. If you wake up feeling groggy, you may turn to tea or coffee for a caffeine boost to get you through the day.

Beverages like coffee and tea get their dark color from tannins, which can absorb into tooth enamel over time and leave stains on the surface of your teeth. These cannot be removed with typical teeth brushing or flossing.

Adding milk to your beverage, drinking through a straw, or choosing a lighter-colored brew can lower the risk of tooth discoloration when enjoying these drinks. However, the threat is not eliminated. If you notice staining, yellowing, or discoloration in your teeth, you can ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening.

Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Increased stress can initiate or exacerbate teeth grinding or clenching behaviors, which dental experts refer to as bruxism. The grating of the top teeth against the bottom row of teeth creates an abnormal pressure that can hurt your teeth and jaw.

Teeth can chip, crack, or fracture under this pressure. Major damage may need restorative dental work to fix. But minor cases may be amended with cosmetic dental solutions like teeth bonding. If this behavior continues, your dentist may recommend that you wear a mouthguard overnight to protect your teeth from bruxism occurring during sleep.

Missing Dental Cleanings

Some patients may think it is easier to skip their regular dentist appointments rather than try scheduling a visit during the chaos of the pandemic. However, avoiding these appointments can be detrimental to your oral health and inherently the appearance of your smile.

During these visits, your dentist examines your mouth and completes a thorough cleaning to ensure your teeth remain strong and continue looking their best. Dentists recommend scheduling these appointments every six months.

Cosmetic Dentistry Options in Laurel, MD

Laurel Smiles Dental Care offers professional cosmetic dentistry in Laurel, MD. Dr. Goyal also specializes in restorative, implant, and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule a consultation or appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 301.200.1315.