Possible Effects Of Anxiety On Your Mouth

Posted on: 6 February 2019

If you have ever suffered from severe anxiety, then you have probably experienced some of its debilitating symptoms. They may include shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, gastrointestinal symptoms, and feeling as though you might pass out. While these are some of the most common symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks, you may also develop oral symptoms. Here are some possible effects anxiety may have on your oral cavity and what you can do about them:

Bleeding Gums

During a panic attack or heightened states of anxiety, the capillaries in your gum tissue can undergo physiologic changes. Because of this, your gums might start bleeding "out of nowhere." For example, you might just start tasting blood in your mouth and then realize that your gums are bleeding heavily.

If your gums bleed spontaneously, see both your physician and dentist. Your physician will help you manage your anxiety, while your dentist will monitor the condition of your gums to make sure that your bleeding isn't also associated with gingivitis.

People who suffer from extreme anxiety sometimes neglect their oral hygiene, and because of this, can develop a serious type of gum disease known as periodontitis. Not only can periodontitis cause heavy bleeding from the gums, but it can also cause damage to the bones that support your teeth.

Dry Mouth

While most people get a dry mouth every now and then, the dry mouth that accompanies a panic attack and severe anxiety can make you feel as though you may choke. This can make swallowing extremely difficult, and in some cases, talking may be almost impossible.

If you are prone to anxiety, take a bottle of water with you wherever you go. Not only will keeping your mouth hydrated keep dry mouth at bay if you become anxious, but the physical act of sipping water may have soothing anti-anxiety effects for some people.

If water fails to prevent oral dryness, your dentist can prescribe a lubricating oral rinse that will prevent your mouth from getting too dry. In the meantime, limit your intake of caffeinated beverages because they can further dry out your mouth and because caffeine is a stimulant and may contribute to anxiety and panic attacks.

If you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks and develop severe bleeding gums or oral dryness, see your dentist on a regular basis. He or she will monitor your oral status for early signs of gum problems or infections that may arise as a result of dry mouth.

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