How Stress Affects Your Oral Health
April is stress awareness month and all of us at Jefferson Dental want our patients to be aware of stress and how it affects your oral health. We know that stress is hard on your heart. It also provokes anxiety, moodiness and depression. But stress has another arrow in its quiver – it can cause mouth pain and problems with your oral health. How? Whether you realize it or not, stress can cause you to:
Grind Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth may be a subconscious habit (especially during sleep) that is often stress-related. Bruxism is an excessive teeth grinding habit that can lead to jaw disorders, headaches, and damaged teeth.
Bite Your Nails
Biting your nails is a bad habit that can cause tooth wearing on the delicate front teeth, which are not designed to cope with the same amount of stress as our molars. It’s also bad for that jaw and raises sanitary concerns.
Eat (or Overeat) the Wrong Foods
Stress can cause some people to binge eat unhealthy foods. Try to keep the sugar levels down and stay away from sticky candies and sweets.
Drink More than Usual
Drinking sugary beverages (energy drinks, sports drinks, alcohol) will increase the likelihood of developing cavities. Alcohol can also cause dehydration and dry mouth.
Get Canker Sores
Although the exact cause of canker sores is unknown, stress is a trigger for some people.
Be More Susceptible to Gum Disease
Stress can suppress your immune system, making it difficult to fight off harmful bacteria that may lead to periodontal disease. Therefore you are more prone to gum disease.
As a part of Stress Awareness Month, we at Jefferson Dental want to help you recognize, understand and fight this enemy, so that you can have a healthier body, mind, and mouth.