General Dental Care: 3 Emotions That Can Affect Oral Health

general dental care dr alana macalik arlington tx

There are often links between your mouth and the rest of your body. In some cases, a problem tooth or teeth can even indicate an issue with a specific organ or system. What many people don’t realize is how significantly emotions can affect oral health too. From good to bad feelings, mental health has a major impact on the strength and wellness of your teeth and impacts the dental care you need.


It’s great to be happy, of course. Happiness is what everyone wants and hopes to keep once they’ve achieved it. Unfortunately, when it comes to oral health there can be a bit of a dark side to happiness.

  • You skip brushing because you don’t want anything to ruin your happiness.
  • You go to bed without brushing because your brain is overcome by good things.
  • Your life is so sweet you overindulge in sweets to celebrate all the goodness around you.

Now, there is also the great stuff of happiness, when a person feels so content and satisfied they do all the right things to keep life looking and feeling good. They take great care of their teeth, diligently tending to them morning and night and minimizing sugar and any other potential damage.


There are times in life when sadness is the overwhelming emotion. You may be sad because you lost a pet, endured a breakup, or are estranged from family. You may have lost someone close to you and grief is your state of being. Or you might suffer from long-term depression and struggle through each day.

In times like this, dental care might take a backseat. You neglect to brush your teeth because you’re too sad or tired to bother. You develop dental problems but don’t tend to them right away because you don’t have the energy or desire. Maybe you do brush, but the effort is halfhearted, which means there is plenty left behind to wreak havoc on your oral health.


When stress descends, people handle it in different ways. Some overindulge in things that are bad for their teeth – an influx of sugar, coffee, red wine, or dark colas. Others grind and clench their teeth day and night, unconsciously inflicting their stress on their teeth.

The consequences can include:

  • Stained teeth: Discoloration of tooth enamel doesn’t take long to settle in, especially if you’re going hard on the dark sodas and wines. It will take professional teeth whitening to truly bleach teeth back to their usual color.
  • Damaged teeth: Grinding and clenching your teeth, also known as bruxism, is a problem that can be caused temporarily by stress. When stress presents in your teeth and they are clenched together dramatically during sleep or waking hours, it can turn into damaged tooth enamel, broken restorations, gum recession, and serious pain and discomfort.

Dental Care for Compromised Teeth

No matter what kind of emotions you’re experiencing, prioritize your oral health so you don’t find yourself in need of emergency dental care to correct a major problem. If you are experiencing discomfort and pain, contact Arlington dentist Dr. Alana Macalik right away to discuss night guards, tooth-colored fillings, teeth cleanings, and cosmetic dentistry.