How Stress Affects Oral Health
You’re probably thinking about how stress interacts with oral health. You may be surprised to know that ongoing stress can lead to a range of mental and physical issues, including damage to your teeth and gums. Whilst you may already be aware of the physical and emotional symptoms of stress such as headaches, stomach pain and anxiety, one of the unknown factors is how it impacts your oral health.
There are many steps you can take almost immediately to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy for the long-term, otherwise, you’ll require frequent appointments at the dentist for treatment. For now, let’s take a look at the oral conditions that can be caused by stress.
Let’s get right into it.
Jaw and Facial Soreness
You’re likely to experience a tight feeling when you open and close your jaw muscles. Even when chewing down on food, this can become more difficult than you think. You’ll begin to experience pain around the ear and face when you move the jaw.
Teeth Grinding, also known as Bruxism often relates to stress and anxiety. When people get facial pain and headaches, it can wear down your teeth. Those that grind their teeth are likely to do it during their sleep. To reduce stress, dental mouthguard is recommended.
Poor Oral Hygiene
When suffering from stress, you’re more likely to forget about your oral hygiene. This means paying more attention to your teeth, such as brushing and flossing, rinsing your mouth after a heavy meal, and eating the appropriate foods that keep teeth and gums healthy.
Poor Immune Response
When stressed, the immune system’s availability to fight off dangerous diseases significantly reduces. High levels of stress then reduce its defences of keeping you away from other infections that can damage your teeth and gums severely. A strong immune system is essential for positive oral health. Click here to learn more.
If you have something known as the herpes simplex virus, then stress will cause cold sores. This impacts your immune system, making it difficult to resist the virus. The virus causes sores on lips, gums and roof of the mouth.
How To Reduce The Symptoms
There are some simple steps you can follow if you suffer from regular stress and believe that you’ve seen an impact to your oral health.
- Speak To The Dentist – First and foremost, make your dentist aware of it. They will assist in offering treatment options to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
- A Dental Mouthguard – If you suffer from Teeth Grinding, ensure you wear a dental mouthguard during sleep. This creates a barrier between the upper and lower teeth.
- Eat Softer Foods – A balanced diet is important to protect the health of your teeth. Incorporate vegetables, egg and fish as these contain calcium properties essential for healthy teeth and gums.
- Quit Smoking – Whilst it can be difficult to curb this habit, smoking damages your teeth and gums severely. Quit at all costs.
- Meditation – Stress is not always physical. It can also be mental and emotional. Therefore, identify any meditation techniques that help to clear the mind from stress and to preserve energy. This will help you think more clearly and, subsequently, you will think about keeping your oral health in check.
When stressed, it can also lead to tiredness, impacting your oral hygiene and you’re more inclined to promote bad habits or indulge in unhealthy food and drink. Whilst staying on top of oral hygiene may not be as difficult, stress is one that can overcoat it and damage your oral health more than you think. Identify ways to keep stress levels low and your teeth and gums will thank you for it.
Are you seeking a transformation to your smile? Contact our helpful docklands dental team now and check yourself in for an appointment. Contact us here today!