Let’s face it, stress is inevitable. how we deal with it is important. Most of us have come across stressful periods in our lives, but the majority of us don’t know how this can affect our oral health.
In this article, we will discuss what is the cause of developing stress and effective strategies on how we can prevent/avoid this leading to better oral care and hygiene.
Why am I stressed?
There are many facets to stress, but in general feeling under pressure for a prolonged period can cause physical changes to the body. These changes lead to stress-induced symptoms of which can cause someone to develop oral health problems.
Over the years several studies have revealed a link to stress to developing oral health conditions, such as dental caries, gum diseases, and even serious complications such as periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is an advanced form of prolonged dental caries that along with poor oral hygiene that can lead to gum disease. This can put some patients at risk of developing tooth loss. Patients that are facing stressful situations complain of jaw pain which quite often is a result of grinding of the teeth. This is known as bruxism which is commonly associated with stress or anxiety.
Now that we’re clear on what’s causing stress, let’s take a look at how we can effectively prevent/control this.
The dentist is your friend
In today’s hectic world many people are first to neglect their oral health. Without taking help from a professional it is easy to start to develop poor oral health, even if you are following a good oral hygiene routine. It’s important to receive regular check-ups from a dentist to ensure that you are not suffering from other conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) or mouth sores which are commonly due to emotional stress and can be difficult to spot/treat.
Patients usually come into the practice with a dry mouth. This is common as the dental practice can be an intimidating and stressful situation for some. A lack of saliva in the mouth can be very bad for your oral hygiene as saliva plays a vital role in neutralizing any harmful bacteria that could potentially give rise to dental caries.
With proper oral hygiene and leading a healthy lifestyle, these can immensely impact your level of stress leading you to maintain good oral health and hygiene.