dental

How Stress Affects Oral Health

December 4th, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let's face it parents, the month of December is usually packed with travel, family, and vacations! This can be a stressful time of the year. So this month we are going to focus on how to deal with stress.

Most of people know a thing or two about stress. Whether you’re dealing with chronic stress, or a brief stressful life circumstance, we all encounter it from time to
time. Most people associate stress with major health issues, such as heart attacks or ulcers, but do you know how stress can affect your oral health?

Stress may negatively affect your oral health in indirect ways.

For starters, stress can cause folks to reach for coping strategies that aren’t so good for
your teeth (or the rest of your body).

Junk food, sweets, sugary drinks, sodas, and chewing gum are just a few examples. When these substances interact with your teeth, they can do a lot of damage in the way of gum disease and tooth decay.

Secondly, when we are stressed, we tend to stop making positive health behaviors a
priority. Let’s say you’re traveling to a far off destination; your brushing and
flossing routine will not be forefront on your mind.

Even a minor bout of stress from a tough day can have us reaching for our cozy bed
and some relieve instead of taking the time to brush first.

And of course, keeping up with routine dental visits may fall completely off our
priority list while under stress. This can prevent us from finding the early signs of
decay and can cause more pain and stress later on.

How does stress affect our mouths directly?

Well, lots of people grind their teeth as a physical way to deal with stress, this is evident in children's teeth, too. You may be doing it without even realizing it! Ask a partner or someone who knows you well to tell you if you have this habit.

What does tooth grinding sound like?

It has been said that it sounds like nails on a chalkboard or someone chewing on rocks! Either one sounds extremely bad.

What can help relieve tooth grinding?

A nightguard MAY be a good option to relieve tooth grinding and thereby decrease some stress. Nightguards are custom made so that they do not flop in your mouth, while sleeping. They are made to cover either the upper arch or the lower arch of teeth. In either case, talk to your pediatric dentist, if your child or teenager has excessive tooth grinding.

Also, when we are stressed we have higher levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol
and adrenaline, that put our body in a “flight or fight” state. This causes our blood
pressure and blood sugar to increase, and our digestive and immune function to
decrease. When our immune system isn’t functioning as it should, this can make
periodontal disease more likely. It can also slow down the healing of other oral issues
or injuries we may have.

What can you do about it?

The best thing you can do to prevent the stress of oral health issues is to maintain
good dental hygiene and visit us regularly for routine visits. We want what’s best for
you — and that includes a healthy mouth for a lifetime!

All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. For more information about improving your child's oral health check out our preventive dentistry page. Still want more information? Check out our monthly blog posts! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

Get acquainted with us by watching our practice video and find out what we do.

Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. He is also an assistant professor at Loma Linda University Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

Tooth Eruption Timeline

February 17th, 2016

Parents, and even older children, can become concerned about tooth development. Wondering when teeth should erupt, and being concerned when the teeth do not appear on schedule, is common. First, you need to remember that each individual is different. Guidelines are just guidelines, but Dr. Allen Job and our team at All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry thought we would pass on this information to help you.

Primary teeth

Children normally have 20 primary or baby teeth. The first two to appear are usually the lower central incisors between six to ten months of age. These fall out between five and seven years of age.

  • Two upper central incisors – eight to 12 months
  • Two upper lateral incisors – nine to 13 months
  • Two upper cuspids or canines – 16 to 22 months
  • Two upper first molars – 13 to 19 months
  • Two upper second molars – 25 to 33 months
  • Two lower lateral incisors – ten to 16 months
  • Two lower cuspids or canines – 17 to 23 months
  • Two lower first molars – 14 to 18 months
  • Two lower second molars – 13 to 31 months

As you can see, all the primary teeth normally have erupted before three years of age, but the timeline can vary by four to six months. Except for the lower central incisors and second molars, upper teeth tend to appear before lower teeth.

Permanent or adult teeth

Adults normally have 32 permanent teeth. However, four of these are wisdom teeth or third molars, which are often removed.

  • Two upper central incisors – seven to eight years
  • Two upper lateral incisors – eight to nine years
  • Two upper cuspids or canines – 11 to 12 years
  • Two upper first premolars or bicuspids – ten to 11 years
  • Two upper second premolars or bicuspids – ten to 12 years
  • Two upper first molars – six to seven years
  • Two upper second molars – 12 to 13 years
  • Two upper third molars or wisdom teeth – 17 to 21 years
  • Two lower central incisors – six to seven years
  • Two lower lateral incisors – seven to eight years
  • Two lower cuspids or canines – nine to ten years
  • Two lower first premolars or bicuspids – ten to 12 years
  • Two lower second premolars or bicuspids – 11 to 12 years
  • Two lower first molars – six to seven years
  • Two lower second molars – 11 to 13 years
  • Two lower third molars or wisdom teeth – 17 to 21 years

Please discuss any of your dental concerns during your visit with Dr. Allen Job. If there is a problem with tooth development, the earlier we address it, the better the outcome. We specialize in pediatric dentistry and look forward to helping you and your child with all your dental needs. To learn more about tooth eruption, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Allen Job, please give us a call at our convenient San Diego, CA office!

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention.  He is also an assistant professor at Loma Linda University Department of Pediatric Dentistry.