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Stress Management and Oral Health

April 1, 2022.TruAssure.0 Likes.0 Comments

Stress Management and Oral Health

Fit woman holding a yoga mat at the beach

Stress affects your overall health and can negatively impact your oral health if left untreated. It is important to understand how stress can influence your oral and overall health and ways you can minimize or prevent it.

Stress-related oral health conditions

Here are a few examples of oral health issues that can be caused or worsened by stress.

  • Gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease, is when one’s gums become inflamed and may bleed. Without treatment, it can result in gum recession and tooth loss. Chronic stress can lower a person’s immune system, making it hard to fight off infection.
  • Bruxism, or teeth griding and or jaw clenching, often occurs during sleep when people are not aware they are doing it. It can cause headaches, jaw soreness and wear down teeth or cause them to break or become loose.
  • Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in plaque attacks the enamel of the teeth. Cavities can form, and the softer root tissue can become sensitive to hot and cold. When stressed out, we often try to alleviate our symptoms by turning to comfort foods, which are often sugary items. Those poor diet choices are reflected in a higher risk for tooth decay.
  • Canker sores, which are small, shallow lesions that develop on the soft tissues in the mouth or at the base of the gums, can be painful and may make eating and talking difficult. People are more susceptible to developing canker sores if stressed.

Ways to manage stress for better oral and overall health

Find and discover healthy, stress-reducing activities such as the ones listed below. By reducing stress, you are also helping improve your oral and overall health.

  • Try to exercise regularly. Even a short walk allows you to enjoy scenery, while still bringing the benefits of movement.
  • Eat healthy by choosing fruits and veggies, along with lean proteins.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Strengthen relationships by talking with a close friend or family member or seek professional therapy if you feel overwhelmed.
  • Practice relaxation using techniques such as meditation, yoga and deep breathing.
  • Get plenty of sleep to help boost your mood, mental alertness and overall energy level.
  • Talk to your dentist if you have frequent headaches or jaw pain when waking up. It might be a sign of clenching or grinding your teeth. Your dentist may recommend a night guard to prevent and protect your teeth from further damage.

Of course, always be sure to maintain good oral health habits, such as brushing your teeth twice and flossing once daily. It’s important to visit the dentist regularly for checkups to help detect and treat oral health issues early before they become potentially more serious.

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