Does Stress Impact Oral Health?

image of a man showing signs of stress

When one is stressed, naturally, their oral health is the last thing that they think about. Although, you may be surprised to know the stress impacts oral health. Stress can lead to damage to your teeth and gums. Naturally, stress can cause facial headaches, anxiety, and negative emotions, but the unknown factor is your oral health.

Stress makes it difficult for your body to fight off infections, and this can open up different conditions that impact your oral health.

There are steps you can take now so that your teeth and gums remain healthy. If you’re suffering from regular stress, there are certain oral conditions that could arise.

lady feeling stressed and anxious

Teeth Grinding

There is a strong correlation between stress and teeth grinding. Stress causes facial pain and headaches and this can wear down your teeth. Teeth grinding may also be a general condition that you’ve grown up with, but it gets worse if you’re under stress. The wear and tear on your teeth open up opportunities for infections and bacteria.

Jaw Sensitivity

When stressed, it’s likely that your jaw will feel stiff and tight when you open and close your mouth. Chewing down on food will also be more difficult without feeling some sensitivity. You’ll also experience some pain around the ear and face.

Weak Immune System

The ability of your immune system to fight off bacteria and infections reduces when you’re stressed. The bacteria can penetrate in and around your mouth, and when you’re stressed, your defenses struggle to protect your teeth and gums.

Poor Oral Hygiene

There will always be a trigger in the mind that causes stress. When stressed, you’ll focus on that trigger causing the stress and this means neglecting other important lifestyle steps. This also includes oral hygiene. You may skip brushing your teeth at night, or rinsing your mouth after a meal. The lack of attention to your teeth and gums will begin to show in your smile.

Cold Sores

For those who suffer from the herpes simplex virus, stress will cause cold sores, impacting your immune system and weakening protection to resist the virus. You’ll begin to notice sores on the lips, gums, and roof of the mouth.

A man showing signs of stress

Here Is How You Can Reduce Stress…

Stress can be managed, and there are some simple solutions that can help you reduce impact to your oral health.

  • Share Your Concerns To The Dentist – The dentist should be your first point of call if you’re concerned about your teeth and gums. Share why you’re feeling stressed and the dentist will also offer treatment options to keep your teeth and gums healthy. You should also share any dental habits you may have picked up as well.
  • Wear A Mouthguard – If you grind your teeth during stress, start considering wearing a dental mouth guard during sleep so there’s a gap between the upper and lower teeth, giving you a restful night’s sleep whilst protecting your teeth.
  • Resolve The Concern – If there is a trigger that’s causing stress, identify a solution to it so that it doesn’t impact you or your oral health anymore. You may consider speaking to a counsellor. You can also contact our doctors in Brunswick so that we can help you relieve your stress.
  • Start Meditating – Meditation helps to calm your mind and thoughts whilst preserving your energy. You will start to regain focus and think more clearly. Notably, you’ll begin to feel less stressed. Meditation also helps manage depression.
  • Exercise – Exercise can help remove those negative endorphins and increase positive energy. Read here to learn more.

Stress is a natural feeling that many people experience, but when it begins to impact your oral health, this can damage your smile and damage your smiling confidence. If you’re feeling stressed, we can help you. Simply get in touch with us today for a mental health assessment.

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