How Can Stress Affect Oral Health?

Posted by COURTYARD DENTAL on May 11 2023, 08:05 PM

Stress can be caused by a lot of things. Marriage, work, school, or even your own health can cause stress. Stress affects the body in many ways, including your oral health. While the effect of stress on the body and mind is fairly well understood, its effect on oral health is less clear. However, there are several ways this connection can affect oral health and hygiene. The connection between stress and oral care may be explained by the fact that individuals experiencing a high level of stress often use tobacco and other substances that damage teeth and gums. Additionally, stress is associated with a lack of sleep, which can contribute to a host of oral diseases ranging from cavities to periodontitis.

Stress is also associated with several mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. These mental health disorders have been linked to an increased risk of developing oral cancer alongside gum disease. Furthermore, individuals with mental health problems are more likely to avoid visiting the dentist for regular checkups, which can compound their risk of disease and other issues. The bottom line is that when an individual is stressed, they may neglect their oral hygiene habits or may not visit the dentist as often as they should, which can lead to a variety of problems.

How Stress Affects Oral Health

Research shows that there is a relationship between stress levels and your oral health. Stress can lead to feelings of anxiousness and nervousness, which can increase your heart rate and cause your breathing to become irregular and short breaths. These common physical symptoms of stress can put you at a greater risk of contracting periodontitis and other oral infections. If you experience regular feelings of extreme stress for a long period of time, it can have a more significant impact on your physical health as well. For instance, frequent bouts of stress and anxiety can make it harder to control your blood sugar. It can also affect your blood pressure and hormone levels, which can put you at greater risk for heart disease and other related conditions. Additionally, stress can also increase your risk for depression and anxiety disorders. 

On the other hand, studies suggest that people with poor oral health often have higher levels of stress and depression because of their mouth pain from infection or missing teeth. This can cause a vicious cycle where you feel stressed about your dental health, causing you to neglect your teeth and gums, which then causes the symptoms of stress to worsen. If you are feeling stressed about your oral health, talk to your dentist about getting some helpful tips for dealing with stress and improving your overall wellness. They may be able to recommend some simple practices that you can try at home, such as meditation, deep breathing, exercise, yoga, or another method that you find helpful for reducing stress. By taking steps to reduce anxiety and improve your overall health, you can reduce your risk of developing various health complications and improve your quality of life.

For more information and tips about improving your dental health, schedule a consultation with your dentist in San Ramon, CA, at Courtyard Dental. You can request an appointment online or by calling the office directly.

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