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.

Stress can cause hormonal changes in the body, including a decrease in saliva production. Dry mouth not only makes it uncomfortable to speak and swallow but also creates an environment conducive to bacterial growth, increasing the risk of cavities and gum disease.

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 trigger or exacerbate oral conditions like canker sores (aphthous ulcers) and cold sores (oral herpes). These painful lesions can develop on the soft tissues inside the mouth and around the lips, causing discomfort and affecting oral function.

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, needing emergency visits to your dentist in Murfreesboro TN.

Easy Tips To Reduce Stress

The good news is that, as per the dentist 37129, 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. Call us to learn more.

To mitigate the effects of stress on your oral health, it's essential to practice stress management techniques such as exercise, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and seeking social support. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep, can help reduce overall stress levels and support optimal oral health. Don't hesitate to reach out to your dentist if you're experiencing stress-related oral health issues or need support in maintaining a healthy smile.

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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206 A N Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, TN 37129

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