How Stress Affects Your Oral Health
In today's fast-paced culture, stress is all too common. Unfortunately, stress can take its toil on your body if you fail to manage it properly. Stress can affect nearly every area of your body, from your skin and heart to your digestive system and oral health. When it comes to the mouth, the consequences of stress can be serious.
How do you know if your stress levels are affecting your dental health? Here are three things you may notice:
During periods of high stress, it is common for people to load up on sugary foods and drinks and let their oral hygiene slack off. This is a bad recipe for gum disease. If you notice that your gums appear more red or puffy than normal, you may have the beginning stages of gum disease, also known as gingivitis. A periodontal treatment from your dentist can reverse the situation. However, neglecting to seek treatment can result in gum recession, tooth loss and threats to your overall health! Do yourself a favor and continue to pick up that floss and toothbrush on a daily basis despite your busy agenda or stress load.
A common way that stress presents itself inside the mouth is with mouth sores, which can be canker sores or fever blisters. Canker sores typically develop when the body's immune system is lowered and fails to fight off bacteria or viruses. Unfortunately, stress plays a primary role in lowering the immune system. Fever blisters are a different type or oral sore caused by the herpes simplex virus. However, they are also known to pop up during times of emotional upset or stress.
What do you do when you are stressed out? Many people engage in subconscious habits such as teeth grinding, teeth clenching or nail biting. All of these common can wreak havoc on your smile. When it comes to teeth grinding (or bruxism), it may be happening during the night while you sleep. In such cases, a custom nighttime mouthguard can save you from detrimental effects such as worn down teeth, TMJ problems and other oral health issues.
If stress is compromising your oral health, make it priority to reduce it. Managing stress can vary from person to person. It may include daily exercise, counseling, better quality of sleep or other lifestyle changes. At Lufkin Family Dental, we are absolutely equipped to diagnose and treat your oral health problems due to stress. However, you must do your part to lower your stress and protect your smile in the future!
Posted on behalf of Lufkin Family Dental