Stress affects your entire body. It can lead to high blood pressure, headaches, and trouble sleeping. Stress also affects your oral health. Here's how.
Physical stress can occur from your body's response to certain situations, such as when lifting a heavy object or participating in physical exercise. Mental/emotional stress is more complex and can happen due to traumatic experiences or difficult life events, like the death of a loved one. Chronic stress occurs when a person feels stressed for an extended period of time, which can put a lot of strain on the body because it can't heal properly due to the constant stimulation of the stress response in the body.
When it comes to your mouth specifically, stress can lead to teeth grinding, jaw clenching, dry mouth, and TMJ disorders. It can also increase your risk of gum disease because your immune response will be weakened by chronic stress. Because of this, you're more likely to miss your bi-annual checkups and have difficulty practicing proper oral hygiene at home.
In addition, there are many medications that can increase the risk of dry mouth as a side effect. If this is happening to you and you are taking regular medication to deal with a medical issue that's causing you stress, it's important to speak with your dentist about how to manage your symptoms and maintain good oral health.
People are always looking for ways to reduce stress, and some have turned to consume more alcohol or smoking marijuana to manage their stress levels. Unfortunately, these habits are harmful to oral health and lead to tooth decay from dry mouth. The stress hormone cortisol also causes problems with your oral health because it can weaken tooth enamel and cause gum disease. Dentists usually encourage patients to visit them at least twice a year for cleanings and other dental work. This helps ensure that patients' teeth and gums remain healthy as they manage stress in their lives.
Studies have shown that stress can cause a variety of issues in a person's oral health, including gum inflammation, teeth grinding, and even tooth decay. To combat these issues, try modifying your lifestyle and finding ways to reduce your overall stress levels. Here are a few suggestions for reducing stress in your life and improving your oral health in the process.
Practice good oral hygiene daily: The goal here is to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time using a soft-bristled toothbrush and an ADA-approved toothpaste. Flossing should be done at least once per day as well. In addition to brushing and flossing, it is also important to schedule regular checkups and cleanings with your restorative dentist. These appointments are vital because they allow your dentist to identify any potential issues before they become major problems.
Get plenty of exercises: Physical activity is a great way to reduce stress and improve your overall health because it gets your blood flowing and increases your endorphins, which are the feel-good hormones that boost your mood. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week. It can be as simple as going for a walk after dinner or jogging around the park with your dog.
Eat a healthy diet: Eating a well-balanced diet is essential for good health, both mental and physical. Try to stick to foods that are low in sugar and high in nutrients, like fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, lean meats and proteins, whole grains, and healthy oils. When you eat foods high in sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, you may experience digestive issues and an increase in stress hormones as a result.
Don't use tobacco or alcohol: Both products are known to cause a wide range of dental health issues, so it is best to avoid them altogether if possible. If you do smoke or use tobacco products on a regular basis, consider quitting or at least cutting back on your usage to help reduce your risk of developing oral diseases.
To learn about the dental services we offer or to schedule an appointment with our dentist, you can call us from your nearest location or make a visit to our office closer to your convenient location. We will be happy to assist you further.
4530 E Ray Rd Ste 170, Phoenix 85044
20542 N Lake Pleasant Road Ste 113, Peoria 85382
10214 N Tatum BLVD Ste B600, North Phoenix 85028
2900 W Ray Rd #3, Chandler, Chandler 85224