How Does Stress Affect Oral Health

How Does Stress Affect Oral Health?

Posted by NORTHTOWNE DENTAL Jul 18, 2023

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We all experience it at some point in our lives, whether it's due to work pressures, personal challenges, or simply the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But did you know that stress can have a significant impact on your oral health? Yes, you read that right! In this article, we'll uncover the intriguing relationship between stress and your pearly whites. 

The Relationship Between Stress and Oral Health

Stress, that all-too-familiar feeling of being overwhelmed and anxious, can affect many aspects of our lives. But did you know that it can also take a toll on your oral health? The relationship between stress and oral health is an important one to understand.

When we are stressed, our bodies produce higher levels of cortisol, known as the "stress hormone." This increased cortisol production can lead to a decrease in saliva flow, which plays a vital role in protecting our teeth and gums. Saliva helps to neutralize acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and wash away food particles that can contribute to tooth decay. Furthermore, stress has been linked to an increase in bruxism or teeth grinding. Many people grind their teeth without even realizing it, especially during sleep or times of heightened anxiety. This constant grinding puts excessive pressure on the teeth and jaw joints, leading to tooth wear, jaw pain, headaches, and even cracked or fractured teeth. In addition to these direct impacts on oral health, stress can also indirectly influence our dental habits. When we're stressed out and overwhelmed with other concerns in life, we may neglect proper oral hygiene routines like brushing twice daily for two minutes or flossing regularly. This neglect leaves us more susceptible to gum disease and cavities.

How to Maintain Stress for Good Oral Health

Maintaining stress for good oral health can seem like a daunting task, but it is possible with some simple strategies. 

  • First and foremost, taking care of your mental well-being is essential. Finding healthy ways to cope with stress, such as practicing mindfulness or engaging in regular exercise, can have a positive impact on both your mind and body.
  • In addition to managing stress levels, it's crucial to prioritize proper oral hygiene habits. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily. Regular visits to the dentist for check-ups and cleanings are also important in preventing any potential dental issues from escalating.
  • Another key aspect of maintaining stress for good oral health is being mindful of what you eat and drink. Limiting sugary foods and beverages not only benefits your overall health but also helps protect your teeth against decay.
  • Avoiding harmful habits like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption can greatly contribute to better oral health. These behaviors not only increase the risk of gum disease but also negatively affect overall well-being.
  • Incorporating relaxation techniques into your routine can help reduce stress levels that may be impacting your oral health. Activities such as deep breathing exercises or indulging in hobbies that bring joy can provide much-needed relief from daily pressures.

Remember that maintaining stress for good oral health requires consistent effort and dedication. By prioritizing mental wellness, practicing proper oral hygiene habits, making healthy food choices, avoiding harmful habits, and finding time for relaxation techniques, you'll be well on your way to achieving optimal oral health while keeping those stress levels in check!

To learn more about our dental procedures, call dentist in Albuquerque, NM at (505) 884-1989 or visit our dental office located at 5900 Cubero Drive NE, Suite B, Albuquerque, NM 87109.

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5900 Cubero Drive NE, Suite B, Albuquerque, NM 87109

Phone: (505) 884-1989

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