Have you thought about stress and how it can affect your overall health, wellness, and more specifically your oral health?
Stress can be something we’re not even consciously aware of at times which makes it easy to ignore its role when it comes to the body and mind.
When the immune system responds to stress it can slow down and be less effective to fight off illness (and we definitely don’t want that!).
That’s why it’s important to not only be aware of stress but how it can affect your oral health.
We have three ways stress can affect oral health and treatment options for not only a healthy mouth but also how to keep your stress level low.
1. ORAL INFECTION
Have you ever had a canker or cold sore in your mouth?
Oral infections like canker and/or cold sores can often show up when experiencing stress.
These sores can not only be incredibly uncomfortable and painful but also foster poor oral hygiene due to the discomfort from brushing and flossing around or near the infected area.
You can lower your stress level with something as simple as taking deep breaths when you feel overwhelmed.
As for the oral infection, you can opt for an over-the-counter medication, or speak with your dentist about the best option that’s right for your oral health.
2. TEETH GRINDING
Did you know stress can trigger teeth grinding?
Which is often an unconscious act (like in your sleep) and may cause a cracked or chipped tooth, as well as TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) pain.
If stress is the cause of your teeth grinding journaling at bedtime may help get out any uneasy thoughts that have you clenching while asleep.
Custom-fit night guards are also an option to protect your teeth from grinding. The cushion from the guard can also reduce the stress placed on the jaw.
3. DECREASE IN ORAL HYGIENE
Do you feel as if stress can make even the most mundane tasks⏤such as brushing and flossing⏤seem like too much?
You’re not alone; that’s a common feeling with stress.
Over time skipping these simple oral hygiene habits can lead to additional stress as this can cause a tooth infection.
Seek a mental health professional and let them know about what you’re experiencing with stress. This can be a safe space to explore your feelings with someone else.
Set a daily goal to brush and floss around times that work for you such as after breakfast, or right before bed. And reward yourself if that works for you!
It’s important to remember that stress may be part of life, but it doesn’t have to rule your life.
If you can become aware of the stress in your life and work to keep the level low not only will your oral health thank you⏤but so will your mental and physical health!
Ready to de-stress with a healthy mouth?
We’d love to be part of that journey with you!
Contact Integrity Dental in Pueblo, CO to get started.