Gritting Your Teeth: Stress And Your Smile

Lafayette how stress hurts your teeth

Doctors have been telling us for years that stress can increase the risk of everything from high blood pressure to depression. But how often do we think about how stress affects our smile? In this post from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, here are some dental problems linked to stress.

Canker and Cold Sores
Cold sores are a symptom of the herpes simplex virus. Scientists don’t know exactly what causes canker sores but suspect they are related to infection, virus, or a weak immune system. If you are prone to mouth sores, you probably already know that stress seems to bring them on or lengthen healing times.

If you get these sores often, talk to us. We can counsel you on medications, diet, and stress reduction procedures.

Teeth Grinding

It’s no surprise that teeth grinding (bruxism) is dangerous to teeth. It starts with enamel wear, then loose teeth, and eventually tooth loss. During this progression, there may be other issues such as gum recession, headaches, and TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder).

If you grind your teeth, it’s vital to address this condition as soon as possible. In addition to stress, there are many factors that can cause or exacerbate bruxism. These include malocclusion (bad bite), and prescription depression and anxiety medications.

We may prescribe an appliance to guard your teeth and keep your jaw in the proper position while you are sleeping. Other treatments include cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation therapies, mandibular advancement devices, physical therapy, and medication.

Temporomandibular Disorders
There are many direct and indirect causes of TMD. For example, inability to manage stress may cause jaw clenching which, in turn, causes pain in the jaw joint. Other symptoms of TMD include tenderness, pain, or swelling in the neck, ear, face, or shoulder; popping or clicking sounds; and changes in bite alignment. Again, if you experience any of these, talk to us about it.

Gum Disease
Stress can reduce your ability to fight plaque build-up which can cause gingivitis.

Oral Hygiene
Some people overlook brushing and flossing when they are experiencing high levels of stress.

It’s not uncommon for men and women people to consume more sugar, snack more often between meals, or drink more alcoholic beverages when experiencing increased stress. All this at a time when vigilant oral hygiene is frequently not a person’s first priority!

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we can treat TMD. We also offer dental implants and many other services. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado


ArticleID 7029

Attack Of The Gummi Bear

Lafayetteaffordable family dentist

Here at the Lafayette dental blog, we never like to be the bearers of bad news, but we are passionate about our patients’ oral health. So, today we offer a key warning about a lesser-known danger of sticky candy.

Most Boulder County, Louisville, and Broomfield residents probably know that sugar is not your teeth’s friend. Eating candy creates the perfect environment for detrimental cavity-causing bacteria to thrive in your mouth.

Did you know that the physical toll of chewing on sticky candy can lead to (or aggravate) a condition in the temporomandibular joint called Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)? The jaw is a delicate joint, and sticky candy increases stress and the possibility of taking the jaw out of alignment.

Worried about giving up the sweet stuff? Remember that when you stop eating highly-sweet things, your taste buds adjust and you will enjoy foods with more subtle flavors, such as fruits. So don’t give up! Your taste buds will change and your teeth and jaw will thank you!

Hi. I’m Dr. Gordon West of Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry in Lafayette. If you hear a popping or clicking noise in your jaw, have pain in your jaw or around your ears, or feel like your bite is out of alignment, call 720-862-3630 to make an appointment today.

TMJ issues can typically be treated with non-invasive methods including including relaxation techniques, diet and lifestyle modifications, or orthodontic treatment. Physical therapy is often effective for treating more severe cases of TMD. If required, I can refer you to a physical therapist who specializes in TMD treatment. During your examination, we can also discuss pain management.

In addition to TMD and bite misalignment diagnosis and treatment, Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry offers the following services:

Sedation dentistry
Prepless veneers
Dental crowns
Invisalign clear braces

Along with healthy teeth, we also want you to have a wonderful smile that you can be proud of. If you have any questions about teeth whitening in Lafayette, smile redesigns, or other cosmetic dentistry procedures, give us a call today at 720-862-3630.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Dr. Gordon West
Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry
1140 W South Boulder Rd, Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado

Aching Jaw In Lafayette?

TMJ Lafayette, CO

Hi. I’m Dr. Gordon West, and today in the Lafayette, CO cosmetic dentist blog, I want to look at some of the conditions that may result in jaw pain.

Jaw pain may be caused by sinusitis. Sinusitis is the inflammation of the tissues that line your sinuses, and when these tissues are inflamed, the sinuses exert pressure on surrounding areas. If the inflamed sinus is near the jaw, pain in the jaw joint may result. This commonly happens following a cold or when someone suffers from allergies.

Many of my Lafayette area patients who come to me with jaw pain have some type of dental problem, such as an infection or a problem in the temporomandibular joint (also known as TMJ).

The source of jaw pain can easily be identified at your Lafayette, CO dental office, and treatment can begin from there. But remember, jaw pain shouldn’t be ignored.

If you are looking for quality dental care around the Lafayette, CO area, please consider Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry. I have been serving the greater Lafayette, CO area since 1998. If you have any questions about oral health or any cosmetic dentistry procedures such as teeth whitening, veneers, bonding, or dental implants, give us a call today at 720-862-3630.

Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry offers

And so much more! Weather you need a routine dental check up or are considering a smile makeover, contact our caring staff in our state-of-the-art office today!

Treatment For Stress-Induced Jaw Pain In Lafayette, CO

Treatment For Stress Induced Jaw Pain In Lafayette

Everyday aggravators cause many Lafayette, CO people to respond by clenching their jaw or grinding their teeth. For example, daily commuting in Lafayette, CO can take a physical toll. All the traffic, noise, and perpetual road construction causes some people to grind their teeth as they navigate the sea of cars.

Some Lafayette, CO folks who hate waiting in long lines channel their frustration to their jaw as they try, by the sheer force of will, to cause the line to move faster.

Teeth grinding and jaw clenching can cause a painful condition called TMD or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. In Lafayette, CO, TMD is often mistakenly called ‘TMJ‘: the acronym for Temporomandibular Joint.

Your jaw is able to open and close thanks to many jaw muscles and the intricate temporomandibular joints. These joints allow for fluid mobility as you chew, speak, and yawn.

Damage to these joints can lead to chronic pain in the jaw, head, face and neck. Pain may be experienced on one or both sides of the jaw.

TMD is an often misdiagnosed condition in Lafayette, CO because facial pain can result from a variety of things, not just damage to the temporomandibular joints. Sinus infections, tooth decay, and facial inuries can cause jaw pain. A correct diagnosis is necessary for treating TMD.

At Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry we have been diagnosing and treating TMD since 1998. If you are experiencing clicking, popping, or discomfort in your jaw, call Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry today for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

I am Dr. Gordon West and I enjoy providing high quality dentistry to the residents of Lafayette, CO and nearby areas.

Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry not only treats TMD, but we redesign smiles with state-of-the-art dental treatments. We offer cosmetic dentistry, porcelain veneers, and prepless veneers.

Your smile is contagious! Make sure it is healthy and beautiful. Call Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry today to schedule a consultation or examination 720-862-3630.

Treating Bite Problems in Lafayette

Treating Bite Problems in Lafayette Malocclusions (bite problems) include overbites, underbites and crossbites. Jaw alignment disorders like TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) restrict proper chewing, talking, and swallowing. They can also cause teeth to shift around in the mouth. Lafayette dentistry patients with bite problems are at a greater risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease because bite misalignment often makes it difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene.

When the lower jaw is smaller than the upper jaw, it is called an overbite. When the situation is reversed, it is called an underbite. Crossbite occurs when lower teeth are in the wrong position.

Bite problems can cause headaches and TMJ pain. Some Louisville, Lafayette, and Boulder, CO dental patients with severe bite problems develop a distorted facial shape and damaged teeth.

If you suspect your toddler or older child has a bite problem, it is important to see your Boulder dentist as soon as possible for bite correction or TMJ treatment. Bite issues and their various related problems get worse over time.

At Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry, we diagnose and successfully treat bite problems in addition to providing general and cosmetic dentistry. We can be reached at 720-862-3630. Our office is located at 1140 West S. Boulder Rd, Suite 201 in Lafayette. You can find out more about us at

Most of our patients live in Lafayette or nearby in Longmont or Louisville. If you have recently moved into the Boulder area and need a skilled family and cosmetic dentist, come visit our state-of-the-art dental care in a comfortable environment team. We pamper every patient and make dental visits as comfortable as possible.

Lafayette TMJ Treatment

Lafayette TMJ TreatmentAre you one of the many Lafayette TMJ sufferers? If you are affected by Temporomandibular joint or TMJ disorder, you know how the pain and discomfort can impact your life. Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry TMJ treatment in the Boulder area has helped countless grateful Lafayette TMJ patients manage their TMJ disorder.

The Temporomandibular or jaw joint connects the lower jaw bone to the skull. Symptoms of TMJ disorder include jaw and facial pain, headaches, earaches, neck pain and chewing difficulty. TMJ disease is often associated with jaw clicking, locking or clenching, and can cause tooth damage and bone loss.

Many Longmont, Louisville and Broomfield TMJ patients first sought a possible TMJ diagnosis after trying unsuccessfully to relieve their frequent headaches. Since opening Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry in 1998, we have discovered that many people do not realize they have TMJ disorder because it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what is causing the pain. A Colorado TMJ specialist can properly diagnose your specific TMJ issues and recommend an effective course of action.

Because a comprehensive treatment plan is most successful, we work hand-in-hand with a network of Boulder TMJ specialists including ENT doctors, neurologists and physical therapists. There are many facets to this often misunderstood disorder. If you are suffering from jaw pain, we recommend a consultation with Dr. Gordon West at Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry in Lafayette.

Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry

1140 West S. Boulder Rd, Suite 201

Lafayette, Colorado 80026


At Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry, we take jaw pain seriously.