Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts September
Short Cuts:HEALTH BEAT
If you're harboring stress, there are dozens of ways it can
manifest itself, but did you know that it can hit you right in the
teeth? Studies show unhealthy levels of stress can affect your
Dry mouth is a common stress-related problem that compromises
one of the best natural defenses against tooth decay and gum
disease, according to Richard Price, DMD. A consumer adviser for
the American Dental Association, Price, based in Newton, Mass., is
on staff at Boston University's dental school. "Without saliva,"
says Price, "cavities can run rampant."
Bruxing, a nonfunctional mashing of the teeth, is a more serious
symptom. "You can see wear patterns," says Price, "and bruxing can
cause tooth fractures or painful joint disorders." Split tooth
syndrome, says Price, is reaching epidemic proportions, in part
because "we're living increasingly stressful lifestyles."
The dentist can help somewhat. "Dentists can create plastic
mouth guards that patients wear at night," says Price. They can
help distribute the force of the grinding pressure on your teeth
and greatly reduce the odds that you'll need more frequent trips to
the dentist's chair. That might knock the stress-o-meter down a
couple of points.
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