Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS o Nutritional Periodontist
September 14, 2015 [printfriendly]
Yes, emotional stress can cause havoc in your mouth. Here are five articles from PubMed.gov that describe how stress may affect the body. (Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here) Basically, stress affects the gut and the immune system. From there, it manifests in many areas of the body – possibly including your mouth.
The following pictures may be disturbing to some readers because they may look unnatural. However, the photography was done with the lips pulled back to show the teeth and gums for better viewing.
Let me tell you about a patient.
Here is the mouth of a 30ish-year-old woman who came to see my associate with the complaint of sore, bleeding gums. There were no obvious causes for this problem; she had very little dental plaque around her gum tissues. My associate, Dr. J. Daulton Keith, referred her to her medical doctor to check for possible systemic diseases that could be sources of her mouth problem.
Her MD determined that there were no medical conditions he could find that caused her sore, bleeding gums. After she returned to our office, she broke down emotionally and described her emotional and sexual abuse by her employer. My associate convinced her to make a life change. She was fortunate and able to secure excellent employment with a different company in another state, to quit her current job with her abusive employer, and to relocate within a short period of time.
Four months later, she returned to our office. From the time she originally was seen in our office to the time she returned after her move, she did not receive any medical or dental treatment for her mouth lesions. Her only treatment was the removal of her emotional stress.
Here is the picture of her mouth after she returned to our office. All of the gum lesions were gone – no soreness; no bleeding; no lesions. Her original mouth condition was caused by severe emotional stress; her cure was the direct result of totally eliminating this stress from her life.
Unfortunately, most people who experience emotional stress from whatever sources are unable to reduce that stress completely. But, this patient I described is a real-life example of a person who suffered the oral manifestation of severe psychological stress and who healed completely after totally removing that stress from her life.