The inability to cope with everyday stressors can have a negative impact on your oral health. Many people who experience chronic stress often neglect their oral hygiene habits, which can lead to the development of gum disease and tooth decay. Additionally, people who deal with a lot of stress over an extended period of time tend to have more acidic saliva, which can break down tooth enamel and make teeth more susceptible to decay.
However, it’s also important to remember that not all stress is bad. In fact, some stress that motivates you to achieve goals, like studying for a test or getting in shape, can be beneficial to your health and well-being. The key is finding ways to deal with and manage stress in a healthy way that doesn’t negatively affect your well-being.
The relationship between stress and dental health is a complex one that takes many shapes. In the simplest terms, stress can cause an increase in acidity in the mouth that can create an ideal environment for oral bacteria to thrive. This can allow gum disease to take hold and even cause additional health problems like heart disease and stroke. However, there are actually many different ways in which stress can affect oral health.
It’s even possible for stress to cause both an increase in tooth decay as well as dry mouth symptoms. This is because the hormones released during high-stress periods can disrupt even normal saliva production. Saliva is a critical component of a healthy smile because it helps wash away bacteria and food particles before they have a chance to break down tooth enamel and cause damage. When there isn’t enough saliva to do its job, decay can become more likely. A dry mouth can also lead to bad breath and irritation of the gums.
Another effect of stress on oral health is bruxism or grinding the teeth during sleep. This is a common condition that can be triggered by stress but can also be caused by sleep disorders. Grinding teeth at night can wear down their protective layers, potentially causing sensitivity and even exposing the inside of the tooth to harm from bacterial acids. This can lead to cavities and the need for restorative dental care treatment. If left untreated, bruxism can also result in jawbone erosion and tooth loss. The best way to avoid this problem is to reduce stress through lifestyle changes, habits, and other means.
Developing good stress management techniques can help you control stress in a way that doesn’t negatively impact your health. Some effective strategies include exercising, practicing mindfulness meditation, and improving your diet. Another easy way to reduce stress and improve your mood is by taking care of your smile with regular brushing and flossing. Be sure to visit our dental office every six months for a routine cleaning and checkup. These appointments are important because they allow us to identify and treat oral health issues in the early stages before they can become more serious problems.
Ardent Dental Arts, located in Englishtown, NJ, is equipped with expert dentists and the latest amenities that enable the best dental care facilities for patients. Call us at (732) 627-4108 and schedule an appointment with the dentist to learn more about dental treatments provided by our dentist.