Stress is a quite common concern for most everyone. A certain amount of stress keeps one alert and focused. However, when you are continually bombarded with negativity and stressful situations – day in – day out, with no relief, your body starts showing signs of that stress. While stress certainly has negative impacts on the body and our mental health, it is also extremely detrimental to your oral health as well.
How Stress Negatively Impacts Your Oral Health
Stress can exhibit itself in several ways in terms of your oral health, such as:
- Problems with Your Jaw: Concerns with your chewing muscles and jaw joints – which can be very painful to your face and ear.
- Grinding/clenching of teeth: Stress can continue to affect your body negatively while asleep as well – this can cause headaches and lockjaw.
- Oral hygiene concerns: Often, if you are stressed you will become lax with your daily routines, including brushing and flossing.
- Poor nutrition: Stress often causes you to have a poor diet, which then finds you lacking in essential nutrients and vitamins your body needs to stay physically healthy.
- Sores in your mouth/oral infections: Cold sores, ulcers with white or red spots in your mouth and gums are signs of physical stress.
- Dry Mouth: Stress can bring on dry mouth, which causes a lack of saliva to be produced. Saliva is extremely beneficial and vital to the health of your teeth and gums.
- Immune system deficiencies: Compromised immune system often leads to gum disease.
Stress Reducing Techniques
It is extremely important that you take the time to find the underlying problem of your stress and deal with it. It can help keep your mental, oral, and physical health in better shape. Here are just a few ways that can help you deal with the stress without compromising your oral health:
- Search out techniques to relax the body and mind
- Stay focused on your daily oral hygiene routine (no slacking)
- Schedule and be sure to keep dental visits, cleanings, and checkups
- Maintain a balanced and healthy diet
- Exercise is key to helping with stress – try to stay as active as possible
- Sleep is also particularly important to the reduction of stress and your overall health
At River Valley Smile Center, we are here to help. If you are concerned about your oral health – and how stress may be a factor, call us today at 479.646.0706 with your questions or to let us make you an appointment for a consultation today.