Stress and Teeth

stress and teethLife is stressful – and stress can cause symptoms like migraines, digestive issues, and many kinds of aches and pains. Stress can also cause teeth and gums to experience symptoms that include:

  • Enamel loss (erosion)
  • Tooth wear (abrasion)
  • Bite problems with sensitivity at the gum line (abfraction)
  • Sensitivity
  • Darkening tooth color
  • Cavities

Fight or Flight

Stress has an effect on our nervous system and produces a “fight or flight” response. These changes are useful for a short burst of strength and energy, but if the response is prolonged it can damage general and oral health.
This fear response alters the circulatory and nervous systems. Blood is shunted to heart and limb muscles, giving them improved efficiently to help us run from danger. Less useful parts of the body – like the digestive tract – get less blood and function less efficiently. Less minerals are absorbed into the blood from the digestive system, and less blood and minerals reach saliva-producing glands.

Oral Health Problems

Stress results is less saliva and saliva with less minerals, which is consequently more acidic. Teeth lose their normal saliva protection and their ability to repair and re-mineralize. Teeth can even be damaged by the acidic saliva as it sucks minerals from enamel, causing additional weakness and porosity.
Lack of protection leaves teeth to dissolve in acidic drinks or acid reflux (erosion). Teeth can wear away during toothbrushing or if a patient grinds their teeth (abrasion). Fragments of weak enamel can fracture at the gum line leaving a sensitive groove (abfraction).

What Can You Do?

All these problems stem from acidic saliva and the loss of normal tooth protection. Don’t try to “fix” the symptoms of sensitivity, weakness or erosion with a sensitive toothpaste or a plastic bite guard! First consider any reasons for chronic stress and check your diet, consider supplements, digestive probiotics, and how to calm your body and improve digestive health.

Tips for Protecting Teeth

1. Use xylitol mints and gum throughout the day to protect teeth from acidic damage.
2. Consider Zellie’s and my Complete Mouth Care System to strengthen enamel and reverse problems of sensitivity, porosity, and cavities, by naturally re-mineralizing enamel.

Categories: Acidity, Demineralization, Dry Mouth, Prevention, Recession, Sensitivity, Xylitol


  • Connie Beck says:

    I do use zellies but am wondering about the the acid ingredients listed on the label. Is the acidic quantity so small that it doesn’t affect the acid-alkaline balance?
    also I wonder about Eternal water and it’s alkaline value. It says on the bottle that it has a natural ph of 7.8-8.2. The source of the water is listed as —-Allegany Mountains, Springbrook Springs, NY. Do you know anything about this water? It is sold in the grocery store with the other bottled waters. Thank you for your comments. C. Beck

    • All the products we produce are made with oral health in mind.
      As Zellie’s grows, we are working to make wonderful tasting mints with no acidic component at all, but the amount we currently use is so small it’s not a problem for teeth. Alkaline water is always wonderful – adding minerals to your “diet”.

      I encourage people to stop “sipping” all day long – even if they sip alkaline water – it’s not as good for teeth as your own saliva. I’ve recently been reading an excellent book by a Swiss doctor, Dr. Christopher Vasey – who suggests we should drink alkaline water like the one you mention. He also says that the best time for a drink is straight after urination. He claims it is the optimum time to hydrate our bodies and this creates less stress and acidity…..
      This may be more information than you asked for…..but I thought it was interesting!
      Best wishes – Ellie Here is a link to an article by Dr. Vasey- LINK

  • suemilie says:

    Dear Dr. Ellie:

    I’m just back from my cleaning and checkup with my surprised and happy dentist and hygienist. I grind my teeth and have deep pockets, cracked teeth, and a partially erupted impacted wisdom tooth. My gums are like blood squirting sponges and I have thick saliva and heavy calculus. I see the dentist 4 times a year.
    I bought your book and started your protocol in-between visits. My gums stopped bleeding within days and I noticed the calculus receded a lot. At my appointment today what little visible calculus was left was easily removed (instead of the head rocking struggle we usually go through) and the one and only spot of accumulation under my gum line fell out when prodded. I had lots of saliva that the hygienist was suctioning out instead of having to squirt in liquid.

    Thank YOU!!! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with the world. Its made such a difference to me.


  • >