How Stress May Affect Your Oral Health
Posted by Dental Health PC on Nov 9 2022, 07:09 AM
Stress can have many negative effects on your overall health and well-being. It can also have a negative impact on your oral health, causing problems such as bruxism, dry mouth, and TMJ disorder.
Many people don’t realize that stress can negatively impact oral health. In fact, chronic stress may even raise your risk for gum disease or cavities. If you’re already experiencing issues with your teeth due to stress, consider seeing your dentist in Corvallis for treatment and advice on how to protect your smile. Here are some ways that stress affects your oral health:
- Stress can increase the release of cortisol in the body, which raises blood sugar levels and causes inflammation in other parts of the body as well. Inflammation in the mouth can cause gum irritation or even periodontitis to develop.
- Increased stress levels can also cause you to grind your teeth more when sleeping. This can lead to additional tooth wear and the development of the temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJD.
- Stress may also cause overeating or unhealthy snacking habits, which can cause plaque buildup and contribute to tooth decay.
Common Signs of Stress-related Damage
Patients can experience common symptoms due to increased amounts of stress in their daily life, such as headaches and disrupted sleep. However, this can also lead to serious oral health issues as well. Some of the most common signs of stress include:
- A decrease in saliva production. Saliva helps wash away leftover food particles and prevent dry mouth. Without it, you’re more likely to experience tooth decay and gum disease.
- Tooth sensitivity. When gums become aggravated or inflamed, they’re more likely to experience pain when exposed to hot or cold temperatures. This can also happen to your enamel as well.
- Teeth grinding. Grinding your teeth in your sleep can result in severe damage to them, so be sure to get fitted for a custom mouthguard to prevent the issue.
- Gum recession. When gums recede, they leave the roots of the teeth exposed, leaving them vulnerable to damage and decay. Gum recession is most commonly caused by brushing too hard or using abrasive toothpaste.
- Jaw clenching. Constant clenching of the jaw can lead to TMJ disorder, a painful condition that can lead to tooth misalignment and tooth loss if left untreated.
- Cracks and chips in the teeth. Clenching and grinding often lead to chips and cracks in your teeth. These can allow bacteria to creep underneath the enamel and cause cavities. Be sure to avoid chewing on hard objects like ice, pens, and fingernails.
- Increased plaque buildup. If your mouth is constantly dry, you have a higher risk of developing plaque buildup that’s difficult to remove. This can lead to cavities and gum disease.
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. They will be able to provide the proper treatment and make sure that your oral health is back on track in no time.
How to Manage Stress and Protect Your Oral Health
Here are some tips for managing your stress:
- Practice mindful meditation. This can help you relax and manage stress.
- Make time for self-care. Make sure you get plenty of rest each night and take breaks during the day to relax and recharge.
- Talk to someone. Sometimes just having someone to listen to you and support you is all you need to manage stress in your life.
- Exercise regularly. Working out is a great stress relief for the body and also helps you maintain good overall health.
- Avoid tobacco. If you smoke cigarettes, consider quitting to reduce your stress levels and improve your health overall.
- Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet can help keep your body strong and reduce your risk of health problems, including heart disease and diabetes. Try to incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables into your diet and avoid fatty foods.
- Drink more water. Water helps flush toxins from your body and keeps your gums healthy. Have a glass of water with every meal, and try to carry a water bottle with you throughout the day to remind yourself to drink enough.
- Practice gentle mouth care. Brush gently with a soft toothbrush and use a soft
To learn more, visit Dental Health PC at 869 NW 23rd Street, Corvallis, OR 97330. Call us at (541) 757 1829 to book an appointment. We will be happy to help you further.