How Stress Affects Your Oral Health

Stress has been known to have an adverse effect on our overall health, but did you know that stress can specifically affect your oral health? A lot of the times this is due to the fact that people that are stressed may not put enough of an emphasis on their oral health. Sometimes people feel so busy that they accidentally skip brushing and flossing their teeth. Additionally, stressed people may feel strapped for time, so they are more prone to eating fast foods or candy. These foods are easy to prepare, but they are horrible for your teeth.

There are also several oral complications that can be linked to too much stress. One such condition is bruxism, which is when you grind your teeth at night. If bruxism persists untreated, it can even lead to Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome, or TMJ. TMJ is characterized by chronic jaw pain and a popping sound when you open and close your mouth. Dry mouth and canker sores are other issues commonly associated with too much stress. Also, long-term stress has been shown to weaken our immune systems. Not only does a weakened immune system open you up for a variety of illnesses, but it also makes you more susceptible to gum disease.

The best remedy for preventing stress from causing you to have poor oral health is to get rid of the stress. Sure, that may be more easily said than done sometimes, but there are certain steps that can be taken to help alleviate at least some of it. Be sure to exercise several times a week. Also, make an effort to eat a healthy diet and to get good, consistent sleep. If you let things get too out-of-hand with stress, you may end up having to call our expert in emergency dental work.