One out of every four
American adults suffers from oral
Left untreated, toothaches and headaches can interfere with vital
functions such as eating, talking and swallowing.
Dentists routinely see oral symptoms of
stress intensified by increased cases of oral
facial pain, jaw pain, herpes outbreaks (cold sore), headaches, lack
of sleep and temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
At the first sign of oral pain or infection, itís important to
see your dentist. These
symptoms may be your mouthís warning signs for more serious health
risks. Dentists know that stress and stress-related disorders
including mental illnesses such as depression
are contributing factors to heart
disease, cancer, respiratory disease, accidental injuries, cirrhosis
of the liver and suicide-all leading causes of death in the United
States according to the Center for Disease Control.
After a complete examination
and diagnosis of the oral problems and screening for linked
stress-related disorders, your dentist can help patients by referring
them to a medical specialist. This
team treatment between your dentist and medical specialist ensures both
oral and overall problems are being treated and that any medications
prescribed do not interfere with each other and inhibit recovery.
Itís hard for most people to identify how much stress theyíre
experiencing and to what degree itís affecting their body until they
get sick. Regular six-month dental check-ups
are a first-line of defense for detecting stress related disorders
pg 2, Winter 2002.
February 06, 2008