Stress Relievers for Better Everyday Oral Health

Nov 08, 2016
Stress Relievers for Better Everyday Oral Health
It’s not a secret that extreme or prolonged amounts of stress can negatively affect your mental and physical health, can lead to feeling poorly or just unhappy overall. Equally important but unfortunately less talked about is the negative effects...

Poor Oral Health Can Be Linked to High Stress

It’s not a secret that extreme or prolonged amounts of stress can negatively affect your mental and physical health, can lead to feeling poorly or just unhappy overall. Equally important but unfortunately less talked about is the negative effects stress can also have on your oral health.

The Importance of A Low-Stress Lifestyle

Everyone wishes for a completely stress-free life, but life comes with many responsibilities and important experiences that can sometimes cause stress to develop. It’s often hard to avoid, but do your best to steer clear of unnecessarily stressful situations or people! In addition, employing some stress relieving tactics throughout your day or week can help take the edge off and leave you feeling better in all aspects of your life.

It’s not just about being less grumpy or reducing headaches, which are great improvements also, but you can get potential serious oral health issues if you don’t take a step back and decompress every now and then. Here are some symptoms that you might develop from extended exposure to stressful situations:

  • Poor hygiene habits. Being overly stressed can affect your mood and may even cause you to neglect your brushing and flossing routine. Disregarding your dental hygiene can lead to serious health issues, like gum disease.
  • Teeth grinding. Known as bruxism, clenching and grinding is often a sign of distress or overwhelmed emotion and usually happens without you even noticing it. A mouth guard and paying extra attention to your subconscious habits can help.
  • Canker sores. These will usually show up as stress-induced ulcers, or white lines, or white or red spots. Some people find they chew on the insides of their mouth or bite their lip when nervous or frustrated, which can lead to developing these sores as well.
  • Joint issues in the jaw. Stress and stress-related symptoms can cause you to develop temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) or myofascial pain syndrome (MPD), both of which can affect the chewing muscles in your jaw and lead to pain and discomfort around your face.
  • Diminished immune system. All in all, stress can be detrimental to your body’s natural immune system. The negative emotions can weaken your body, making you more susceptible to harboring harmful bacteria, developing an infection, and can even lead to periodontal disease if not treated.

How To Lower Stress In Your Life

So now that you are familiar with the symptoms, it’s possible you can identify with maybe one or two on the list. After all, stress is not an uncommon thing to suffer from. In fact, most adults feel they are overwhelmed at work or home and are overly stressed out. That’s why it is excruciatingly important to remember to take some time to distress and unwind! Your body, your mind, and your mouth will thank you. Here are some tips for decompressing and taking a load off to lower your anxiety and stress levels.

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  • Exercise more. A short walk or a quick trip to the gym can help you unload your stress, and can help you feel more alert and energized throughout your day!
  • Eat a more balanced diet. Diets that are high in fats and unhealthy sugars can cause you to feel lethargic and make focusing on important tasks difficult, which can cause you to fall behind in work or school.
  • Take breaks throughout the day. Don’t overwork yourself! A five-minute break after a long work session or a lecture can make all the difference in helping you decompress and re-evaluate your tasks.
  • Stay hydrated. You wouldn’t believe the difference that drinking enough water can make on your attention span and energy levels. Being alert can help you feel more in control, which can help you avoid stressful situations.

In cases where patients are suffering from dire health problems brought out by an unhealthy amount of stress in their life, big changes will need to be considered. It can be hard, especially if the stress is stemming from work or school, but sometimes cutting back on overworking yourself can make all the difference. In the long run, being able to take things on with a clear, distressed attitude can help you get more done, faster. Plus, you don’t have to deal with the added hassle of having to treat serious oral problems like gingivitis, infections, or periodontal diseases.

In Need Of Quality Professional Oral Care?

It’s okay to admit that you’ve fallen behind on your oral health care routine due to stress. Dr. Lloyd Beaufils will provide you with attentive and compassionate care every step of the way. Beaufils Dental offers a wide variety of services, from cosmetic dentistry to restorative procedures, like dental implants.