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Can Stress Affect Your Oral Health?

Posted by DAY DENTAL IMPLANTS AND DENTURES Nov 22, 2022

Stress can negatively affect your oral and overall health. Some stress, such as worrying about a final exam or a big presentation at work, is unlikely to affect your smile. But other kinds of stress, such as those associated with financial concerns or anxiety about health problems, can lead to long-term physical problems for your teeth and mouth. For example, chronic stress can impact your immune system's ability to fight infection and inflammation, which can increase your risk for oral diseases. It can also affect hormone levels in your body, leading to issues like dry mouth and a receding gum line. 

The Connection Between Stress and Oral Health

There are many connections between your oral health and your overall well-being. Many things you do on a daily basis have an impact on your stress levels and, in turn, the health of your teeth and gums. Here are some ways stress affects your dental health:

  • Increased clenching and grinding of teeth due to increased anxiety
  • Decreased saliva flow, which can lead to dry mouth syndrome
  • Depression and anxiety can increase the risk of gum disease
  • Brushing your teeth too hard or for too long can wear down tooth enamel and cause sensitivity issues
  • Not following through with dental treatments due to fear of discomfort and pain
  • Skipping out on routine visits to the dentist can put you at greater risk for cavities and gum disease

If you are experiencing some symptoms of stress like insomnia, headaches, or muscle tension, it's important to see your doctor in addition to your dentist. Your doctor will be able to provide medication to help promote better sleep and relieve any tension you might be feeling. A doctor will also be able to suggest treatment for depression or anxiety as well. Take care of your health as a whole to reduce your risk of developing oral health problems in the future! Here are some other ways to combat stress and maintain good oral health:

  • Practice healthy stress management techniques, like meditation or yoga. These activities can have a positive impact on your overall health as well as your oral health.
  • Ask your dentist about special mouth rinses that can help protect your teeth from the effects of stress. There are several over-the-counter options, but you can also talk to your dentist about whether a prescription-strength product would be right for you.
  • Reduce your consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks. These substances can increase your risk of periodontal diseases.
  • Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent wear on your tooth enamel.
  • Use gentle, circular strokes when brushing your teeth to avoid damaging your gums.
  • Visit the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings to reduce the risk of oral health issues and catch any potential problems early.

We'll perform a comprehensive exam to make sure that your smile is in excellent condition! Call us at (701) 888-9222 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 5120 Prosperity Way Ste. 108, Fargo, ND.

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