Impact of Stress On Oral Health

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Good News
Millennials on average will be living two decades longer than boomers.
Bad News
Millennials suffer from unprecedented stress level in relation to all other previous generations.

What are the oral health implications of this? Grinding (bruxism) is on the rise. What used to be isolated to a few individuals just a decade ago, is epidemic among our young patients in Midtown.

Why is that concerning? Grinding causes irreversible damage to dental enamel, the outer protective layer of teeth. In the absence of enamel teeth become vulnerable to normal masticatory forces (dental abrasion), not to mention acidic content in food and drinks (dental erosion).

While among boomers tooth loss meant gradual individual break down of teeth due to periodontal condition or decay, what we are witnessing in millennials is erosion affecting all teeth due to grinding, clenching and other stress induced para-functional habits. And this is just part of the story.

What are the solutions?

Manage stress, pay attention to clenching and grinding habits, wear occlusal guard while sleeping, drink less caffeine and alcohol.

But the truth is, these solutions are much simpler said than done! Most patient, despite their best efforts have a tough time with implementing these changes, until it is too late.

What is your strategy to ensure stress doesn't adversely affect your healthspan?