How Does Stress Affect My Dental Health?

Stress can cause a variety of health problems, both mentally and physically. Unfortunately, few people know that stress can also have ill-health effects on your dental health.

Here’s how stress can affect your mental health and tips you can take to stop it from wreaking havoc on your teeth.

How stress affects your teeth

Stress expresses itself in a variety of physical ways and your mouth is no exception. Whether you’re experiencing pain or other unfortunate oral health issues, here are just some of the ways that stress can damage your mouth:

  • Teeth grinding/clenching: It’s not uncommon for stressed people to carry that tension in their jaws. As such, you might wind up grinding and clenching your teeth, otherwise known as Bruxism. This can cause cracks and strains in your teeth as well as create soreness in your jaw. It’s common that grinders experience headaches and other facial pains as a result of their clenching. The worst part? You might not even know you’re doing it. It’s common for those who suffer from Bruxism to perform this act at night. The best way to stop it is by relieving sources of stress and wearing a mouthguard at night.
  • Dry mouth: Dry mouth may seem innocuous, but lacking saliva means that your mouth is at risk. Your saliva serves as a type of defense against bacteria, and a lack thereof can increase your risk of tooth decay, infections, tartar, and gum disease.
  • Lowered immune response: When you’re stressed, your body won’t be able to fight off infections to its full capacity. This means a small issue in your dental care can quickly balloon into something much bigger if it isn’t nipped in the bud. It’s common for stressed individuals to suffer from increased rates of periodontal disease. In fact, nearly 47.2% of adults over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease.
  • Poor oral habits: Stressed people are more likely to forgo good habits in the name of a busy schedule. That means they’ll forget to brush, floss, and even stop visiting their family dentist. As a result, your dental health will certainly suffer.

Tips to fight stress

You can reduce your stress symptoms on your dental health by utilizing a variety of techniques, including the aforementioned mouth guard. However, finding ways to limit stress overall is a great way to improve your health as a whole. Many people combat the ill side effects of stress through meditation, exercise, a healthy diet, and by organizing their schedules.

When you want to take better care of your teeth, rely on the family dentist you can trust. With Gainesville Dental Associates, we can help take your dental care to the next level. Whether you’re looking for veneers, Invisalign, dentures, or just a quality family dentist, contact us today.