Stress and Oral Health

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The world can be a stressful place. From turbulent current events to pressure at work or in your personal life, stress can begin to impact your oral health. At increased levels, stress hormones can lower your immunity and make you more susceptible to periodontal disease. Stressed out people are also more likely to indulge in bad habits like smoking, too. Other effects of stress on your oral health include:

Bruxism

About 70 percent of bruxism cases stem from stress and anxiety. Also known as teeth grinding, bruxism is common in people who hold tension in their jaw. When left untreated, bruxism can lead to dental attrition, or the wearing away of a tooth’s structure. Relaxation techniques, therapy, meditations, and regular exercise can help address the root causes of bruxism. Jaw exercises and mouth guards can also combat the worst of bruxism’s impact on a patient’s oral health.

Tooth Decay

Many people turn to sweet treats as a way to de-stress. While such snacks are okay on occasion, a diet that is high in carbs and sugar can wreak havoc on your teeth. In fact, many stressed out people discover they need to have cavities filled, which only adds to their anxiety. If you’re going to indulge after a long week, make sure to drink lots of water during and after your sugary snack. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily can also keep tooth decay at bay.

Canker Sores

About one in five people will develop a canker sore at some point in their lifetime. Most are caused by stress, though allergies and hormonal changes can also play a role. While not contagious nor harmful to your health, canker sores can be painful and incredibly annoying. Over-the-counter numbing products can help ease the pain and make eating with a canker sore easier. Most canker sores go away on their own after a few days.

If you believe your stress levels are beginning to impact your oral health, it’s important to take action. Klooster Family Dentistry offers expert advice and care to patients across the Triangle, with multiple locations to serve you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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