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5 ways Stress Impacts your Oral Health

stress and oral health

In today’s world stress has become part of our lives. Stress can have an impacts on oral health in a number of ways. As long as forces that had the potential to challenge the adaptive capacity of the organism, Long-term stress may hurt your health however it doesn’t affect just your physical and emotional health. It can be bad, also for your teeth and mouth, too. Keep in mind these stress-related conditions that can affect your overall oral health:!

Stress is a natural response to demanding situations. In the short-term, it can help us meet our goals or reach a deadline. However, in the long-term, stress takes a toll on our health and wellbeing. It can be an underlying cause of many chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and depression. Constant stress may also affect our oral health. Here are five ways how stress impacts your oral health.

Young woman practicing yoga in lotus position for meditation and physical stability

Stress Impacts Your Oral Health:

  • Night grinding of teeth or clenching of jaw is called bruxism usually done unconsciously during sleep most commonly. However, theres various studies suggest that stress can cause night grinding of teeth. This leads to attrition of teeth in some cases it may lead to crack or fracture of teeth. 
    • Meditation, counselling and exercise are some ways to reduce the stress that causes teeth grinding. Visiting dentist to get Occlusion right once every 3 months is a good preventive method.  
  • TMJ disorders are characterized by joint pain, muscle pain and soreness due to tension in the muscles. When patients open or close the jaw they experience pain at the TMJ. With the sudden onset of stress the muscles become tensed and then come back to their original position when stress  released.
    • The dentist may suggest soft diet, TMJ appliances, or even specialized face yoga and medication.   
  • Stress can cause ulceration in the host immune response. They comprise of small ulcers located on mucus membrane in the oral cavity. However, they appear as a red lesion with a white or yellow hallo on inside of the lips, cheeks, tongue, base of the gums, Symptoms include pain, burning sensation, inflammation, fever, difficulty in chewing. 

If you still get ulcers, your dentist may prescribe a gel or cream to relieve the pain. 

  • Xerostomia (dry mouth) is caused due to stress and side effects of a few drugs used to treat conditions like Parkinson’s, depression, diabetes etc. Dry mouth or burning mouth may be caused along with cavities. 
    • Treatment for dry mouth can include stress counselling and antidepressant medicine.  
  • Periodontal diseases may aggravate due to stress and may affect oral hygiene, decreased gingival circulation, lower host resistance response, altered sleep. All of theses has negative impact on the gingival tissues leading to periodontal disease. 
    • If you have severe gum disease, you may need to see a periodontist for your dental treatment.  

Maintaining your oral health when stressed

One of the best ways to fight the negative effects of stress on oral health is to remove the source of stress. If it’s not possible; counselling, exercise, yoga, jogging, relaxation or meditation or even a massage and physical therapy may help reduce your tension. Speak to your dentist to reduce impact of stress on oral health.

Depending on your symptoms, your dentist can also recommend specific treatments. For example, if you have bruxism, your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. For TMJ, your dentist may suggest some adjustment, including orthodontic treatment, to correct teeth alignment that may be magnifying pain. Check your benefits to see what treatments are covered under your plan. Ask about prescription medications.

It’s also important to continue to practice good oral hygiene.

‘People who are going through stressful events tend to compromise their oral care’. To prevent stress from affecting your oral health, you should continue to brush twice a day, floss every day and have your gums and teeth regularly evaluated by your dentist.” Stress is a powerful thing, capable of causing both mental and physical reactions. Some people are more susceptible to the effects of stress than others.

Stress also has a direct negative effect on wound healing. Learning how to reduce stress helps you live a healthier life overall. Identifying what stresses, you and prioritizing to resolve them is a good start. Get at least 7 to 8 hours of peaceful sleep every night; use night guards for grinding. Activities such as meditation, yoga and exercise help to release stress. Seek professional help like counselling to find how to manage the stress in your life.    

Royal Dental Clinics, Mumbai, has separate waiting rooms, resting areas, consulting rooms and treatment rooms for every patient. Utmost care and comfort is provided to patients and relatives by every staff keeping in mind the safety parameters during this pandemic. To know more, visit www.royalimplant.com

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  1. this blog is so productive and educative. Also, I can totally relate to this blog as i do have a lot of stress and anxiety.

  2. i liked the way it is clearly explained

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