How Stress May Affect Your Oral Health

How Stress May Affect Your Oral Health

Posted by Rachel Erwin on Nov 10 2022, 06:23 AM

How Stress May Affect Your Oral Health

Stress is an inevitable part of modern life. In today’s fast-paced world, stressors can be physical, emotional, or psychological. Stressors can also sometimes be work-related, financial, or relationship-related. Stress can negatively affect the entire body, including the teeth.

The Link Between Stress and Oral Health

There are many physical and mental effects of stress on your oral health. If you suffer from chronic stress, it can lead to conditions like bruxism or temporomandibular joint disorder. These disorders can leave you with oral pain, headaches, and jaw soreness. They can also cause you to grind your teeth in your sleep, which can affect your bite alignment and cause additional problems for your body. If left untreated, these conditions can become severe enough to require invasive and expensive treatment options.

Chronic stress can also increase your risk of gum disease. Excess cortisol in the body can contribute to inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissue. Your immune system may also react more strongly to bacteria in the mouths of people who are stressed, causing more gum inflammation and leading to more serious concerns.

Stress can increase the risk of cold sores. Cold sores are tiny blisters that develop on the lips and are caused by the herpes simplex virus. They are often caused by stress, which is why they are sometimes referred to as “stress ulcers” or “fever blisters.”

Additionally, if you are experiencing chronic anxiety or have trouble sleeping at night, it may contribute to an increased risk for cavities. Even though you may be practicing quality oral hygiene at home, you might forget to floss or rinse before bed if your mind is elsewhere. This can lead to tooth decay and other oral health issues.

Easy Tips To Reduce Stress

The good news is that there are several ways you can reduce your stress levels to improve your overall dental health and quality of life. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Practice yoga, meditation, or other relaxation techniques to reduce cortisol levels in your body and calm your mind.
  • Exercise regularly, as physical activity is known to improve mood.
  • Consider getting a pet. Studies have shown that people who own a pet have lower blood pressure and lower heart rates, as well as reduced stress and symptoms of depression.
  • Avoid alcohol, coffee, and nicotine, as these substances can increase your levels of anxiety and stress.
  • Spend time with loved ones. Social support is essential in reducing stress and improving your mental health.

To learn more about maintaining good oral health, call Stonegate Family Dentistry at (615) 624-6919 to book an appointment. You can also visit us at 206 A N Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, TN 37129.

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