Do you feel like you’re constantly under stress? Did you know this can lead to several health problems, including issues with your oral health?
When stressed, our bodies automatically go into fight-or-flight mode due to years of evolution. This natural response helped ensure the survival of our ancestors by releasing stress hormones like cortisol in their system. But unfortunately, these same hormones can have an inflammatory effect on the body today, leading to conditions like gum disease.
Not having enough saliva also leads to more oral health problems like tooth decay. This is because saliva helps keep our mouths healthy and bacteria-free.
How is stress connected to oral health?
When we are stressed, our bodies enter fight-or-flight mode. Our bodies produce cortisol, a stress hormone that has an inflammatory impact on the body.
Cortisol can reduce saliva production, which is important for maintaining a healthy mouth and preventing germs.
We are at a greater risk of tooth decay and other oral health issues if we do not produce enough saliva, including gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss in severe cases.
Can stress cause dry mouth?
As we mentioned before, one of the effects of cortisol is reduced saliva production. This can lead to dry mouth, a condition where there is not enough saliva in the mouth to keep it healthy and bacteria-free. Dry mouth puts us at a greater risk for tooth decay and other oral health problems because saliva helps keep our mouths healthy and free of bacteria.
Oral problems caused by stress
Jaw problems or disorders: Jaw joint and chewing muscle disorders can lead to pain in the face or ear area.
Bruxism or teeth grinding: Teeth grinding (bruxism) is often a stress response. This can lead to jaw pain, headaches, and even tooth damage.
Decay of teeth and gums: When we are stressed, we may neglect our oral hygiene routine. This can lead to the proliferation of plaque and tartar build-up, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Canker sores from stress: Canker sores are small ulcers that can form on the soft tissues in our mouths. They are often a response to stress and can be very painful.
Oral infections: Stress can weaken our immune system, making us more susceptible to oral infections like thrush.
Anxiety and tooth pain: Dental anxiety is real and can cause a lot of stress. This can lead to tooth pain and other symptoms like sweating, increased heart rate, and difficulty breathing.
How to prevent stress from causing oral problems
There are a few things you can do to prevent stress from causing oral problems:
1) Manage your stress levels: Managing your stress levels is one way to avoid stress-related oral issues. This may be done in various ways,like exercising, meditation, and spending time with loved ones.
2) Stay hydrated: It’s crucial to stay hydrated since dehydration can cause a dry mouth. When dehydrated, your body doesn’t generate enough saliva to keep your mouth healthy and bacteria-free. So be sure to drink plenty of water during the day!
3) Practice good oral hygiene: Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash regularly are all good oral hygiene practices that may help you avoid stress-induced tooth problems.
4) Visit your dentist regularly: The best way to avoid stress-related oral problems is by visiting your dentist frequently for cleanings and checkups! Your dentist will be able to identify any issues early on and help you devise a plan to prevent them from worsening.
Dentist in Monroe
If you are coping with stress and anxiety, it is vital to consult a mental health professional. You should also be more cautious about your dental health by practicing excellent oral hygiene and visiting the dentist on a regular basis. Taking these actions might help you avoid experiencing anxiety-related oral issues.
For dental issues, Monroe Family Dentistry is always by your side. Just give us a call on whenever you need us.
Our Dental Practice in Monroe, NC
Monroe Family Dentistry is there for you and your children from day one and we are happy to work with you and your child to start habits from birth. If you live near Monroe, NC call us to schedule an appointment today at 704.776.4278.
These are just some of the services we provide. To learn more about our dental practice in Monroe NC and the services we provide, call us or submit an appointment request.