disorders should discuss their oral health issues with their dentist.

Oral Health Problems from Anxiety Disorders

Oral health issues connect with anxiety disorders as many patients develop dry mouth, Lichen Planus, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), and burning mouth syndrome. With Lichen Planus, patients develop lacy white lines or red areas in their mouth, or may have mouth ulcers. Dry mouth results from a lack of saliva production. With TMJ, patients have pain and difficulty chewing in the muscles of the jaw and surrounding facial area. Burning mouth syndrome patients feel burning pain in the mouth.

Other Causes

Medications to treat anxiety disorders may impact your oral health. For example, the medications may reduce the ability of the mouth to produce saliva. If this happens, you can develop dry mouth and a greater possibility of gum disease and tooth decay. About 70% of bruxism (teeth grinding) cases come from anxiety. Bruxism is the condition of unconsciously grinding and clenching the teeth. Often done at night, bruxism causes wear on the teeth and puts pressure on the jaw muscles. This condition can lead to TMJ disorder (TMD).

Oral Care Issues Leading to Decay and Disease

Patients with anxiety disorders sometimes do not follow a regular oral health routine. At home, they do not brush and floss daily. Anxiety makes it difficult to make dental appointments and to keep them. Nervousness about dental procedures can keep them away from much-needed care. This puts them at higher risk for periodontal disease, cavities, and tooth decay. Talk to your dentist if you suffer from anxiety disorder or PTSD so the dentist can prepare to help you. Include a list of medications so the dentist can address oral health side effects.

Visit your Riverside Dentists

If you are interested in learning more about preventive dentistry for your whole family, contact our Riverside family dentists. For more information about the services we offer, or to reserve an appointment at Dental Associates of Riverside, call (951) 369-1001.