How Stress May Affect Your Oral Health

How Stress May Affect Your Oral Health

Posted by KEN CARYL DENTISTRY on Nov 10 2022, 06:10 AM

How Stress May Affect Your Oral Health

Stress is a common complaint among many people. Stress is the body’s physiological response to events that make you feel threatened or upset. Some people cope with stress in positive ways, while others struggle with it. It can affect your physical and emotional well-being. It can also have an impact on your oral health. 

Sustained high levels of stress can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a weakened immune system that may increase your risk of all kinds of infections, including gum disease.

The Link Between Stress and Oral Health

Stress can also trigger the “fight-or-flight” response in your body, causing you to breathe more rapidly and produce less saliva than normal. Saliva helps rinse bacteria from your mouth so that your teeth and gums can remain healthy. When your mouth is dry, acid produced by plaque can begin to eat away at the enamel of your teeth, resulting in tooth decay and the need for dental fillings. It can also make your gums more sensitive - which may lead to them bleeding when you brush or floss. If your gums bleed more than usual, see your dentist as soon as possible for an evaluation.

Do you know how you clench your jaw and grind your teeth when you’re stressed? Well, that can actually wear down the tooth enamel over time and increase your risk of tooth decay. That’s because the clenching can put too much pressure on the teeth, causing the enamel to erode. The friction from grinding can also lead to damage to the tooth surface. Plus, more acid gets produced in the mouth when stressed, which can further break down your teeth and cause cavities or gum disease.

 When stress affects the levels of cortisol in the body, it can cause the oral microbiome to become unbalanced. This can contribute to gum disease and other inflammatory issues.

So, How Should You Handle Stress? 

If you’re feeling stressed, try some of the following relaxation techniques to help you stay stress-free:

  • Exercise regularly to manage your stress levels. Take a brisk walk on your lunch break or go for a bike ride after work to burn off excess energy and leave yourself feeling more relaxed.
  • Meditate to relax your mind. Sit quietly in a comfortable position and clear your mind of all stressful thoughts. Meditation can help you feel calm and centered in just a few minutes a day.
  • Spend time with your favorite people. Strong interpersonal relationships help with stress management by promoting feelings of well-being and security. Social support will also help to keep your immune system healthy and strong.
  • Engage your mind with creative activities. The arts can help distract you from your worries and promote
  • You can also eat healthier foods and make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night. 

Also, remember that regular visits with your dentist can keep your mouth free of gum disease and other serious conditions. That can be a great way to help you deal with stress and keep your oral health in top shape!

Ken Caryl Dentistry offers the best dental services to maintain your healthy smile. For more details, call us at (303) 973-5280 or visit The Courtyards at Deer Creek 7631 Shaffer Pkwy Suite B, Littleton, CO 80127. 

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