In today’s crazy complex world stress is a common concern for most of us , stress is the human bodie’s natural response to any kind of demand or threat.
With unexpected things happening around you all the time managing stress can be difficult, ultimately taking its toll on your body.
Its clear that anything we can do to reduce stress is a good thing – but many of us give little thought to the affects stress can have on our oral health.
Research has shown several links between stress and oral heath concerns;
- Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) and / or Tempromandibular Joint Disorder: Grinding your teeth is a common consequence of stress. Constant worrying and thinking can affect your body while it is asleep causing you to clench or drink your teeth. If you find you are waking up with a tight/ sore jaw or heard aches you could be grinding your teeth at night.
- Mouth Sores: Canker sores, cold sores and mouth ulcers are a common side effect to stress. While they are generally not harmful they can be quite painful.
- Gum Disease : Stress can affect your immune system and the body’s ability to fight harmful bacteria – thus worsening of existing gum disease or an increase in the presence of bleeding gums.
- Dry Mouth (Xerostomia): Stress can be one of the reasons you experience dry mouth , not only stress but often the medications used to treat depression and anxiety contribute to dry mouth.
Lack of saliva can increase the risk of decay and gum disease.
How can you deal with stress?
- Look into relaxation techniques to help manage your stress, such as yoga.
- Keep up with your oral and personal hygiene at home.
- Stay active – regular exercise can help reduce the feeling of stress.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Try and maintain a healthy balanced diet.
- Visit your dentist for regular preventive dental care.
Everyone experiences stress but your overall health and oral health can be affected if stress is extreme or consistent. If you’re feeling stressed, speak to a healthcare provider or medical professional for assistance. They will be able to point you towards active, practical strategies to overcome or manage the challenges you face.