woman with toothache

QUESTION: Recently, the backs of my lower front teeth have become really sensitive. I visited my dentist in February and was told that I do not have cavities or even signs of periodontal disease. I have been dealing with high levels of stress lately because of things going on at school. Is there any way that stress could be making just my front teeth super sensitive? Or, could there be something else going on?

ANSWER: People don’t fully realize how much stress will affect their bodies, and you are completely right that stress could be the culprit of your sensitive front teeth. Here are a few reasons why this could be happening to you.

You may be grinding your teeth at night. When you grind your teeth, you could be putting as much pressure as 250 pounds on them (your jaw really is that strong!). This pressure can lead to tooth damage, sensitivity, and other concerns. This issue can be resolved with a special mouth guard you wear at night.

Not taking care of your teeth

In addition, you may be not taking care of your teeth as well because you are so stressed out. This may lead to more sensitivity as plaque and tarter builds up on your teeth and along the gum lines. You need to make sure you are taking just as much care of your teeth now as you would when you are not as stressed. So make sure you brush your teeth two to three times a day, use a good mouthwash, and floss regularly.

Bad diet

You could also have teeth problems from eating a bad diet. Sugars and other ingredients in foods can actually make your teeth more sensitive since they are so bad on the enamel (the hard surface of your teeth).

Gum infection

Finally, you could have a gum infection. This isn’t necessarily the same as gum disease. An infection (gingivitis) can occur if bacteria are trapped between your teeth and gums.

It’s best that you see the dentist to determine why your teeth have gotten so sensitive. There may be treatments available to help you with the problem. Additionally, you should find different stress-relieving tactics to help avoid the problem on your own. Stress can cause a variety of other health conditions as well, so you do need to avoid it as much as possible so that you can make sure that you stay happy and healthy now and in the future.