Chronic stress can take its toll on a person’s mind and body. When the body is exposed to stress for long periods of time, it may lead to some serious health issues, including oral health problems. Stress is your body’s response to sudden changes in your life.
Stress can have an impact on a number of areas of health, including your teeth and gums. Many common oral health problems also cause significant stress, creating a vicious cycle of stress and oral discomfort. During stressful situations, blood vessels constrict, your heart beats faster, and your blood pressure rises. All of these reactions cause you to feel on edge, tense, or scared. When the body is under stress over an extended period of time, it can contribute to poor oral health. This is because increased blood pressure causes the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body, including to your gums and teeth. This can cause dry mouth, which can, in turn, increase your risk of cavities and other oral issues. Your gums may also become swollen and red when you are under a lot of stress.
Additionally, the clenching of the jaw that occurs during stressful moments can also cause damage to the enamel surface of your teeth, leading to chipped or broken teeth. As if this was not enough to worry about, stress can also weaken your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to things like gum disease and tooth decay.
It is important to pay attention to how stress may be negatively impacting your oral health in order to take the necessary steps to protect your mouth. This includes taking steps like controlling your stress levels with methods such as meditation and breathing exercises. You should also make sure that you are getting enough sleep each night. Good oral hygiene habits are also extremely important for protecting yourself from the damaging effects of stress. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day can help to remove bacteria and plaque from your mouth that can cause decay and disease. On top of that, you should see your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups so that they can remove any tartar buildup that cannot be removed on your own and ensures that you are maintaining optimal oral health.
If stress is affecting your oral health, call Short & Vlosich Family Dental at (806) 374-8011 or schedule an appointment online.