Can Stress Make Your Teeth Hurt?

Can Stress Make Your Teeth Hurt?

Some days are just destined to be stressful. You wake up late, can’t find your keys, get stuck in traffic, have a hectic day at work, need to pick up the kids (but first stop by the store), get home just in time to make dinner…whew! No wonder you’re totally stressed out. Days like this that seem like a perpetual Monday can definitely take their toll, not only on your physical and mental health but also on your teeth. That’s right, stress can even make your teeth hurt!

Stress and Tooth Trouble

Headaches, irritability, and exhaustion are all typical signs of stress, but living a less-than-calm life can affect more than your mood, well-being, and energy level. Believe it or not, stress and tooth pain often go hand-in-hand. In fact, stress can negatively affect your teeth in multiple ways.


That stress-induced headache could very well stem from unconsciously clenching or grinding your teeth, a condition known as bruxism, which brings the term “the daily grind” to a whole new level. Grinding your teeth is a common response to stress and can occur during the day, though mostly at night while you are sleeping. This can result in a host of dental problems that if left unaddressed, will only add to your stress! Bruxism can damage crowns, wear away tooth enamel, and cause pain, lockjaw, tooth sensitivity, and more. It can even disrupt your sleep, making you even more tired and irritable. 

Eating Issues

If you’re feeling stressed and pressed for time, that can cause you to grab quick meals that aren’t necessarily nutritious and are often high in sugar — not your teeth’s best friend by any means. To make matters worse, eating on the run can lead to acid reflux which can damage teeth by eating away at enamel and increasing your risk of tooth decay. 

Gum Disease

Because stress can wreak havoc on your immune system, it can make you more susceptible to gum disease. Add in a tendency to neglect self-care when stressed — such as skipping dental appointments, brushing less, and forgetting to floss — and your chances of gum disease increase even more. Anxiously biting your nails transfers germs into your mouth as well, piling on to your likelihood of infection.    

Mouth Disorders

High anxiety can also lead to dry mouth, a condition that deprives your teeth of saliva’s oral health benefits like its ability to wash away harmful food particles stuck in your teeth and gums. Burning Mouth Syndrome is another condition that can be triggered by stress, resulting in gum and tooth pain. In addition, this disease is exacerbated by smoking and drinking — two habits often increased due to stress.   

Less Stress. Less Tooth Pain.

While we all get stressed out from time-to-time, it’s important to have strategies in place to reduce your stress levels as much as possible. Identify triggers and try to avoid them. Make sure to exercise regularly, eat a healthy, balanced diet, and take time to relax. Get plenty of sleep and use stress-relieving techniques like deep breathing and meditation. By reducing the stress in your life, you will reduce your risk of tooth pain and problems.

If you are experiencing stress-related tooth pain, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist. Contact Weber, Mountford, and Ruszkowski to book your next appointment online or by dialing 616-842-0822 today. There are plenty of things in life to get stressed out about, your teeth shouldn’t be one of them!  

How Long Does Zoom Teeth Whitening Last?

How Long Does Zoom Teeth Whitening Last?

If you’ve been searching for an effective way to have a brighter, whiter smile, chances are you’ve come across the Zoom! Tooth Whitening procedure. What is it, how does it work, and does it create lasting results? Let’s break it down.

What is Zoom Teeth Whitening?

The Zoom Teeth Whitening procedure is a whitening treatment you can receive at your dentist’s office. 

The benefits of this procedure are that it is easy to do, doesn’t take long, and creates long-lasting results. The Zoom Teeth Whitening procedure removes surface stains and internal, set-in stains that other whitening treatments and at-home teeth whitening kits can’t reach. The Zoom light penetrates the enamel and brightens dark parts of the teeth, resulting in a truly whiter smile.

Most whitening products contain 7-10 percent hydrogen peroxide, so while they may be effective if used correctly over a long period of time, any results are difficult to see. Also, at-home products with higher concentrations are very easy to misuse and can result in tooth sensitivity or pain. The Zoom Teeth Whitening procedure is performed under the supervision of a dentist, so it is very safe and very effective, though exact results will vary for every individual.

How Does Zoom Teeth Whitening Work

The entire Zoom Teeth Whitening procedure takes less than an hour to complete. It’s recommended to do the whitening treatment directly after a cleaning. The cleaner your teeth are, the better the treatment will take.

In the Zoom Teeth Whitening procedure, a dentist or trained dental assistant will apply a light-activated 35 percent Hydrogen peroxide whitening solution by painting it onto the patients teeth. Every 15 minutes, the teeth will be checked to verify that the treatment is working, and more solution will be applied. The Zoom light is used to help the solution work deep into the teeth, breaking up stains and removing discoloration. 

Once the procedure is complete, a special paste will be applied to the teeth to reduce sensitivity, but the patient can expect some sensitivity for up to 72 hours. They will also be given a touch-up kit to take home, which is customized to work with their teeth.

How Long Does Zoom Teeth Whitening Last?

The reason Zoom Teeth Whitening is so popular is because of its long-lasting results. After the procedure, most patients can expect their brighter, whiter smile to last 1-4 years. This can be prolonged using the Zoom touch-up kit your dentist will supply once the treatment is complete. The custom-made trays will fit the patient’s teeth exactly, and will likely need to be used once per month for about a half hour, although the dentist will advise a custom treatment plan.

After treatment, it’s a good idea to avoid staining foods like coffee, tea, and red wine — especially the week following the Zoom Teeth Whitening treatment. Any exposure to stains during this sensitive period of time risks setting in the stain. Whitening toothpastes, regular brushing and flossing, and biannual dental cleanings will help also maintain the treatment.

Eventually, even with good oral hygiene and stain prevention, the teeth will fade back to their original color. A dentist can help determine if it’s time for another treatment.

Ready to brighten up that smile for the holidays? Let us know! Dr. Ruszkowski, Weber & Mountford are proud to offer Zoom! teeth whitening services, and we’d love to help you whiten your smile in time for the holiday season.

How Bad is Skipping a Dentist Appointment, Really?

How Bad is Skipping a Dentist Appointment, Really?

Skipping a dentist appointment is not good. You’re supposed to have biannual dental checkups for a reason. A dental visit is essential to keeping your teeth clean beyond what normal brushing can do. The dentist is also responsible for catching any little problems before they become big ones. Remember, even if you only skip one appointment, that means you might be waiting 6 months until your next one. That’s 6 more months of plaque buildup and potential tooth decay. 

What Happens When You Skip An Appointment?

While delaying your appointment a few weeks isn’t likely to make a huge difference in your dental health (unless you’re dealing with pain or discomfort from an unresolved dental issue), skipping a dentist appointment and waiting months or even years before going back to the dentist office could have serious consequences for your health. 

Plaque is building up all the time, even if you’re a thorough brusher. Regular cleanings and checkups at the dentist remove that buildup to keep your teeth healthy. The longer you wait, the more risk you have of experiencing a cavity, tooth decay, or a more serious health issue.

Think of it like owning a vehicle. If you don’t take care of your car with regular oil changes and repairs, it might work for a while without seeming to show any signs. Eventually, however, your car could break down and leave you stranded, cause an accident, or need more expensive repairs that could have been avoided. You wouldn’t continue to drive a car that’s in need of serious repairs and in danger of breaking down, so why would you neglect your dental health?

Your dentist does more than just clean your teeth. In addition to regular cleanings, your dentist performs important preventative care and checkups that protect your health in the long run. Your dentist takes X-rays of your teeth to look for structural deficiencies, conducts checks of your gums and tongue for indicators of disease, and examines the state of your enamel for wear and vulnerabilities. If you’re consistently skipping a dentist appointment, you could be at an increased risk of tooth decay, bad breath, gum disease, infection, or even cancer.

How Often Should You See Your Dentist?

At minimum, to maintain your dental health, you should visit your dentist twice annually for cleanings, and receive X-rays once per year. If you experience dental problems like cavities or tooth pain you may need to see your dentist more often. Also, if you’re working with your dentist on aesthetic correction, you will likely need to see your dentist frequently throughout the year to make sure treatment is going according to plan.

When you visit your dentist for your regular cleaning, it’s a good idea to schedule your next appointment ahead of time. That way, you won’t forget to visit the dentist when it’s time for your teeth to be cleaned again. Your dentist will remind you before your next appointment to make it easy for you to remember.

How Long is Too Long After Skipping a Dentist Appointment?

If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, it’s best to get an appointment scheduled as soon as possible. It’s never too late to get a handle on your dental health, and your dentist can help you address any damage or issues that they find to make sure your teeth, gums, and mouth are healthy and happy.

Skipped your dentist appointment and afraid of the consequences? Call Creason, Weber & Mountford today. We’d be happy to get you into our office for a checkup and cleaning as soon as possible.