How Stress Affects Oral Health

How Stress Affects Oral Health

Posted by Richard Jones Jun 22, 2023

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Are you stressed out? Maybe your workload is too heavy, or perhaps there's a big deadline looming. Whatever the cause of your stress may be, it's important to understand how it can impact your oral health. You might not think that stress and dental health are related, but they actually have a significant impact on each other!

The Effects of Stress on Oral Health

Stress is a common problem that affects everyone in different ways. Whether it's due to work, personal relationships, or financial troubles, stress can take a toll on our physical and mental well-being. But did you know that stress can also affect your oral health? That's right! The effects of stress on oral health are many and varied.

One of the most common effects of stress on oral health is teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism). This habit puts excessive pressure on the teeth, leading to wear and tear on the enamel. Over time, this can cause tooth sensitivity and even lead to cracks or fractures.

Another effect of stress on oral health is gum disease (periodontitis). Chronic stress weakens the immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off infections like those that cause gum disease. In addition, when we're stressed out, we tend to neglect our dental hygiene habits, like brushing twice daily and flossing regularly, which increases risk factors for gum diseases.

Stress can also contribute to dry mouth (xerostomia), which occurs when there's not enough saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps rinse away food particles and bacteria from your teeth, so without it, plaque formation increases, resulting in cavities that could be painful if left untreated.

How to Manage Stress for Better Oral Health

Stress is an inevitable part of life, but it doesn't have to take a toll on your oral health. Here are some practical steps you can take to manage stress for improved oral health.

Make time for relaxation and self-care activities in your daily routine. This could be anything from listening to music or reading a book to taking a warm bath or practicing meditation. Whatever helps you feel calm and centered – prioritize it!

Get regular exercise. Exercise not only helps reduce stress levels but also boosts overall health and immunity. Consider going for a walk outdoors or joining a yoga class.

Practice good dental hygiene habits such as brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly. By maintaining good oral hygiene practices, you'll be better equipped to fight off any potential infections that may arise due to stress-induced immune system suppression.

Seek professional help if needed. If you're struggling with chronic stress or anxiety that's impacting your well-being significantly, don't hesitate to speak with a mental health professional who can provide additional support and guidance.

By adopting these strategies for managing stress in your life, you can help maintain optimal oral health while also promoting overall wellness and vitality!

Get in touch with Arctic Smiles Orthodontics at 12020 E Shea Blvd Suite 10, Scottsdale, AZ 85259, or call (480) 614-2211 to schedule an appointment.

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