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7 Ways Stress Impacts Your Oral Health

You may know stress is bad for your health, but you may not realize the effects it can have on your teeth. When you know how stress can affect your teeth, you can then take steps to protect your oral health.

1. Stress And Anxiety Can Lead To Bruxism

When a person grinds his teeth while he is asleep, it is known as bruxism. This habit can cause permanent damage to your teeth. The habit of clenching or grinding teeth can chip the teeth and wear down the enamel.

Bruxism also results in pressure on your teeth’s supportive tissues. This can lead to bone loss. If bruxism is not corrected, bone loss can cause tooth loss as well as it can affect your jaw. Clenching and grinding your teeth can make jaw muscles painful and sore. It can be difficult to bite and chew your food, and even opening and closing your mouth can be painful.

2. Stress And Anxiety Can Contribute To Poor Eating Habits

When you are stressed and anxious, you may be more likely to eat foods that are bad for your teeth. Sugary foods, sodas and coffee are some examples. These unhealthy foods can increase your risk of developing cavities.

3. Stress Can Contribute To Poor Oral Habits

You may not be practicing good oral care when you are anxious and stressed. For instance, daily care of your teeth and gums may not be your priority. If you neglect routine brushing and flossing, you will be more prone to tooth decay and gum disease.

4. Stress Has A Negative Effect On Your Hormones

Stress affects the hormone levels in your body. One way this can be harmful to your teeth is it reduces the production of saliva. When your mouth is frequently dry, it will harm your teeth.

A second way hormones affect your teeth is by decreasing your body’s immunity to infection. You will be more prone to oral infections when your hormone levels are unstable.

5. Canker Sores Can Be Caused By Stress

If you are prone to canker sores, too much stress may be a contributing factor. Although there can be a number of reasons for canker sores, the issue originates in your immune system. When stress prevents your immune system from working properly, you may find these ulcers in your mouth.

6. Stress Can Affect Your Body’s Ability To Heal

If you have a dental procedure done, it may not be as effective if you are coping with a considerable amount of stress. While a healthy body has a natural ability to heal, too much stress can actually impair the healing process.

In addition, you may be more prone to developing an infection or other complications during or after a dental procedure. Procedures that are relatively simple, and carry only minimal risk, can present a problem for you.

7. Stress Can Interfere With Routine Dental Visits

When you are overly stressed and anxious, you may not be thinking about visiting the dentist. You may miss your appointments for cleanings and examinations, or not make appointments at all. While professional dental care should be one of your main priorities, you are less likely to take it seriously when you are experiencing stress and anxiety.

Everyone experiences stress. However, your overall health and your oral health can be affected if stress is extreme or consistent. It may be difficult to completely reduce stress, but there are ways of coping with stress with stress free activities like short walks, go for a run, read a book or take a short vacation.

Not only can your physician offer useful advice on how to reduce stress, so can your dentist. As your dentist knows how stress can be harmful to your oral health, they will have valuable suggestions for you to try.

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