Connection Between Stress And Oral Health

Connection Between Stress And Oral Health

Stress is your body’s response to certain stimuli, such as scary situations or criticism at work. Your endocrine system produces stress hormones called cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones prepare you to react quickly to whatever is happening in your environment. They affect your blood flow, heart rate, digestion, immune system, and more.

Over time, these hormones can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to infections and inflammation in the mouth. This can lead to dry mouth, gum disease, and other oral health issues. It is important to find ways to manage stress and practice relaxation techniques, so you aren’t putting your oral health at risk.

Stress Affecting Oral Health

Stress isn’t good for your overall health, and it doesn’t fare much better for your oral health either. In fact, stress can negatively impact many areas of oral health, from your gums to your teeth to your jaw.

Dental health is particularly affected by stress. One study examined the relationship between stress and periodontal disease. Researchers found that chronic stress increased the risk of poor periodontal health by over 50 percent.

People who are stressed also tend to neglect their oral hygiene habits. They don’t brush twice a day or floss as often as they should, and as a result, they put themselves at a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Unfortunately, when anxiety affects someone’s oral health care practices, it puts them at an even higher risk of tooth loss.

What Can I Do to Protect My Oral Health From Stress?

Dentists strongly recommend that patients of all ages practice good oral hygiene habits at home, limit consumption of sugary foods and drinks, and attend regular checkups and cleanings. This is the best way to keep teeth and gums healthy and reduce your risk of tooth decay or gum disease.

However, even with the best at-home care, some patients will still experience occasional toothaches while under stress. If you are undergoing a particularly stressful period in your life, try following these helpful tips to keep your teeth healthy!

  • Reduce how often you snack on sugary, acidic foods. Remember that acids soften tooth enamel, which can increase your risk for decay over time. If you must eat something sweet, try to brush and clean your teeth as soon as possible after.
  • Exercise regularly. Not only does exercise improve stress levels by increasing endorphins, but it also increases saliva production. Saliva helps cleanse your mouth of harmful plaque and bacteria.
  • Practice meditation or other relaxation techniques to help you stay calm when stressful situations arise. Reducing your anxiety can help decrease your risk of oral discomfort as well.
  • Avoid smoking and visit your dentist for regular cleanings and exams. It’s important to have a professional examine and treat your teeth and gums on a regular basis to ensure they remain healthy and strong.
  • If you notice any problems (or have any questions) about your ongoing dental health, always reach out to your dentist immediately. They can recommend further treatment if needed.
  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep each night to keep your stress levels low and allow your body to recuperate properly. Being well-rested can also improve your overall mood throughout the day.

If you have more questions about your oral health and how it is affected by stress, contact About Smiles at 2555 Western Trails Blvd., Suite 104, Austin, TX 78745, or call (512) 444-5577.

Location

2555 Western Trails Blvd., Suite 104, Austin, TX 78745

Phone: (512) 444-5577

Email: [email protected]

  • MON - THU: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • FRI: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • SAT - SUN: Closed
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3701 Gattis School Rd. Ste 101, Round Rock TX 78664

Phone: (512) 444-5577

Email: [email protected]

  • MON: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • TUE: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • WED: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • THU: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • FRI: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • SAT - SUN: Closed
Contact Us