How Is Stress and Oral Health Related?

How Is Stress and Oral Health Related?

Stress can lead to a variety of health issues, including oral health issues. Stress can affect our overall health and make us more vulnerable to infections. It can lead to teeth grinding, temporomandibular joint disorder, gum disease, dry mouth, and teeth clenching.

When we feel stressed, our body releases various hormones to help us respond to stressful situations. These hormones can cause a number of responses in our bodies, including increased heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, and even changes to our digestive system. For optimal overall health, it is important to learn how to handle stress before it becomes a problem.

Some common causes of stress can include family situations, work issues, financial concerns, or even feelings of depression or anxiety. Dentists also see an increase in patients during stressful times. Patients can experience headaches, jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, dry mouth, difficulty sleeping, and more as a reaction to their stress and as a way to cope. It is important to talk to your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms to rule out any oral health problems that may be causing these specific types of discomfort. Together, you and your dentist can create a plan for coping with your current stress levels. This may include adjusting your oral hygiene routine, incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily life, or even taking other steps to improve your quality of life.

How Does Stress Affect Oral Health?

When it comes to stress and anxiety, it’s generally not something that people choose to think about. However, it’s important to address your anxiety or stress issues because they can directly impact your oral health.

Stress can lead to a number of health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. While the link between these illnesses and stress isn’t fully understood, there is some evidence to suggest that stress can actually contribute to certain diseases. If your mouth is healthy and strong, your body will be too. So anything you can do to reduce stress in your life can also help improve your oral health.

Some common signs of stress are teeth grinding, jaw clenching, dry mouth, and a weakened immune system that can make fighting off a cold more difficult. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, try to identify the source of stress and find ways to manage it. You can practice deep breathing techniques, find new relaxation and stress management tools, and talk to your dentist about any possible solutions for relieving your stress. Improving your overall health can also have a positive impact on your oral health.

How To Manage Stress?

  • Practice relaxation techniques every day, such as yoga and meditation.
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine products.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Make time for enjoyable activities that you like to do.
  • Talk about your feelings with friends and family.
  • Seek professional help if you have a difficult time managing stress.
  • Do not skip meals because you need the energy from these to keep your blood sugar levels where they need to be and not spike or drop.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet. Choose foods that have nutrients like calcium, protein, and vitamin D included, and limit your intake of unhealthy foods.
  • Get enough sleep each night. Aim for at least seven hours of slumber every night to ensure that you have the energy needed to function and perform to your highest ability each day.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Be sure to brush for around two minutes each time you clean your smile.
  • Floss at least once a day to remove bacteria and plaque from between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach and to prevent gum disease from occurring.
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash to reduce the risks of gingivitis and periodontal disease. These rinses can also help to kill bacteria in the mouth and prevent bad breath from setting in.
  • See your dentist for a checkup and cleaning twice a year. During these appointments, a professional will thoroughly clean the teeth and recommend ways to improve oral health at home.

To learn more about our dental procedures, schedule an appointment with Bergeron Dental by calling us at (907) 456-5600 or visiting our dental office located at 3112 Airport Way, Suite 2, Fairbanks, AK 99709.

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