Stress is a normal reaction the body has to physical and mental stimuli. However, too much stress can be harmful to the body. Stress can affect the body in many ways. There are many causes of stress, both big and small. Some are more obvious than others. A stressful day at work may make you feel hungry and cause you to crave sugary sweets. This can lead to cavities and gum disease. Identifying the sources of your stress and finding ways to alleviate them can help prevent the onset of oral issues.
The relationship between stress and oral health is a two-way street, meaning there are both direct and indirect effects that stress can have on a person’s smile. For example, when a person is stressed and experiences muscle tension in their jaw, their bite can become misaligned, leading to problems such as TMJ disorder or bruxism. Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding, which causes tooth damage over time. Other common symptoms of stress include a dry mouth, as well as an increased susceptibility to various infections of the teeth and gums. These can include canker sores and cold sore outbreaks, which are caused by the herpes virus. When experiencing these oral symptoms, it is best to avoid using alcohol and tobacco, as both contain chemicals that dry out the mouth and make infection more likely. Additionally, drinking plenty of water can help to rinse away bacteria and food particles from the mouth.
To reduce the chances of developing an infection related to stress, individuals can avoid sharing personal items such as spoons with others and avoid biting fingernails and other hard objects.
While stress can be unavoidable at times, there are several lifestyle changes that can help to reduce the effects of stress on one’s body. In addition to practicing good oral hygiene, people can try incorporating more exercise into their daily lives. Exercise promotes better sleep, which can reduce stress levels and prevent teeth from grinding at night. Furthermore, a healthy diet can have a positive impact on overall health and can prevent the development of certain health conditions that cause stress. Lastly, activities such as yoga and meditation have been proven to reduce stress and improve mood. By finding ways to relax, individuals can give their bodies the best chance at fighting off the side effects of stress and protecting their dental health in the process.
Since stress can have such a profound impact on a person’s mind and body, it’s important to discuss concerns with a dentist or doctor. If a patient is experiencing an oral condition
For more tips and comprehensive dental care, visit Uptown Smiles at 601 NW 23rd St Suite #200, Oklahoma City, OK 73103. Call us at (405) 702-7766 for appointments.