How Does Stress Affect Oral Health?
Stress of any kind typically doesn’t feel good—and we know it’s not good for our state-of-mind. But did you know that stress can have a negative effect on oral health? Many times, your responses to stress and physical stress reactions can have a detrimental impact on the teeth and gums. It’s important to be aware of the linkage between stress, certain behaviors, unconscious bodily reactions, and declining dental health so that you can better care for yourself and make new choices that support a healthy smile.
When we are under stress, it is common to:
- Increase sugar, alcohol, and tobacco consumption, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
- Become less concerned with daily dental hygiene and stop prioritizing regularly scheduled visits to the dentist for cleanings and exams. Brushing and flossing less, paired with decreased dental visits, can cause plaque build up—damaging the teeth and gums. These changes can also allow dental problems to worsen and prevent early detection of various oral concerns.
- Grind and clench your teeth. The powerful forces and friction that are present during teeth clenching and grinding can damage the teeth, gums, and jaw.
- Experience hormonal changes that suppress the immune system. A suppressed immune system prevents the body from fighting periodontal disease and may also slow tissue healing within the mouth.
If you are wondering what can be done to protect your dental health from stress, there is a very simple answer: make it a point to brush and floss twice daily AND visit Dr. Wayde Fawcett regularly. No matter what your stress level is, Dr. Fawcett can keep a close eye on your dental health and provide early treatment when necessary so that dental issues do not become severe. We also encourage you to explore healthy ways to reduce stress so that you can live your happiest and healthiest life!
Are you overdue for a dental cleaning and exam? No problem! Contact our practice to schedule your appointment with Dr. Fawcett.