You know the signs that you are stressed out: you get a headache, your muscles tighten up, and your mind races. Constant stress affects your body and your mind – but did you know that it can also affect your oral health?
How Is Stress Affecting You?
Stress may be the motivator you need at certain times in life, but it can also mean physical and mental discomfort. And it can cause oral problems as well, such as:
- Oral hygiene problems. When you are stressed out and exhausted at the end of the day, the last thing on your mind is probably flossing and brushing. This, of course, can lead to tooth decay and all kinds of problems. Besides remembering to care for your teeth every day, you should also make sure that you don’t develop bad habits to try to deal with stress, such as chewing on pens or pencils or biting your nails.
- Tooth issues. Bruxism (tooth grinding) may be one way your body tries to deal with stress and anxiety. You may do this in the middle of the day during a stressful situation, or you may do it when you sleep and not even know it. Bruxism can cause damage to teeth, making them crack, break, or wear down.
- Gum issues. When we are under stress, our bodies release cortisol, a hormone that can eventually wear down the effectiveness of the immune system. This makes it harder for the body to fight infection, which makes the gums more susceptible to damage from bacteria in the mouth. This can lead to gum disease, which, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. When you’ve been under constant stress, you may notice that your gums are swollen and that they often bleed.
Of course, reducing your stress level is easier said than done, but it might be something to try for, not only for your health but also so that you can enjoy life more! If your teeth are suffering because of your hectic life, contact the Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center for help. Call the office in East Norriton, PA, at (610) 272-6949 to make an appointment today.