Anxiety and its Effects on your Smile

anxiety and its effects on your smileMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Everyone gets anxious from time to time. Some people, however, deal with a constant high level of anxiety. Those individuals who suffer from persistent anxiety may feel overwhelmed or out of control. If you have anxiety to the point that it impedes your ability to function on a daily basis, then you have what is known as an anxiety disorder. A generalized anxiety disorder, a panic disorder, or social anxiety disorder all are different varieties of an anxiety disorder. Left untreated, an anxiety disorder affects your daily life and eventually can impact your overall health, but did you know that anxiety also could affect your smile?

The oral effects of living with anxiety may produce a variety of different consequences, including canker sores, dry mouth, burning mouth syndrome, and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Anxiety also could cause liche planus—a condition that occurs when lacy white lines, red areas, or mouth ulcers develop in the mouth. Another common oral consequence of anxiety is teeth grinding, which also is known as bruxism. Severe cases of teeth grinding can destroy your mouth, placing an inordinate amount of force that literally wears your teeth down to nubs.

Medications that are prescribed for anxiety also can have side effects that impact your oral health, affecting your ability to produce saliva. Anxiety medication side effects also may include anemia, bleeding, and nausea and/or vomiting, all of which can have negative ramifications on your teeth and mouth.

Problems with anxiety also can lead someone to abstain from visiting the dentist, which only makes any existing oral health problems that much worse, requiring more intensive and costly treatments to resolve these issues. Sometimes, those who suffer from anxiety disorders have such problems functioning that they may stop performing daily tasks that so many of us take for granted—such as bathing or brushing their teeth.

Anxiety disorders are one of the great silent epidemics in the United States. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (www.adaa.org), anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million American adults—or 18 percent of the entire population of Americans who are at least 18 years old. The ADAA also estimates that less than 37 percent of all American adults suffering from anxiety seek treatment, even though these disorders are highly treatable.

If you currently suffer from anxiety that impedes your daily life, your local Miami dentist strongly suggests that you seek the care of your regular physician or a mental health expert, who can provide help through treatment. And if your mouth has suffered some damage as consequences of your anxiety disorder, your local Miami dentist at Miami Designer Smiles can help repair your smile and prevent further damage to your teeth.

First, if you have neglected your oral health due to anxiety, your Miami cosmetic dentist can help by performing a cleaning and comprehensive examination of your teeth and mouth. We can treat bruxism by prescribing a mouth guard, which will be custom-made to the precise fit of your mouth. We also can repair teeth that have been damaged by bruxism or decay through any one of a variety of natural-looking yet highly functioning restorations that will leave you with a beautiful smile that performs well. Miami Designer Smiles also offers sedation dentistry for patients who suffer from significant anxiety or even outright fear regarding going to the dentist.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Miami

To learn more about the services offered at Miami Designer Smiles, call our office today at (305) 595-4616.

Miami Designer Smiles is proud to care for patients in the areas of Miami and Coral Gables, FL.