Stress can be quite harmful to our physical and mental health. It can also be surprisingly detrimental to our oral health as well! Therefore, if you’re looking for more reasons to cut some stress from your life and focus on self-care, you don’t have to look much further than your smile. Here are just five ways that cutting stress from your daily life can help to improve your oral health.
1. Limiting stress can spare your teeth from nighttime bruxism.
Did you know that stress is the leading cause of nighttime bruxism? Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is your body’s natural response to stress hormones. Grinding your teeth helps to release these hormones in your sleep. It is just as effective as screaming into a pillow for relieving stress while you’re awake. However, bruxism can be particularly harmful to your oral health—causing fractures, decay, facial pain, and even loose teeth.
2. You will avoid TMJ issues.
When you’re stressed, your body’s natural reaction is to clench your jaw. You may not even realize you’re doing it! However, if you do this too much, it can have some nasty side effects on your jaw muscles and joints. Therefore, if you’ve noticed that your jaw pops, clicks, or even locks on occasion, this may be symptomatic of a TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problem.
3. Avoiding stress helps prevent gum disease.
Stress is notorious for causing a number of health issues, as it can greatly impact your immune system. For this reason, stress can also be a common contributor to gum disease. When your immune system isn’t working properly, it makes it more difficult for your body to fight off the harmful bacteria that attack your gums. This leads to an infection of the gums known as gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. Therefore, by limiting stress, your body’s own natural defenses against harmful bacteria can help you to maintain your oral health.
4. Keep your mouth safe from sores.
As mentioned above, a depleted immune system can have great impact on your overall health. Just as stress can lead to gum disease for this reason, it can also lead to mouth ulcers. Canker sores can be quite painful, and make it difficult to eat and get proper nutrition. By eliminating stress, you can avoid this painful oral health issue.
5. Improve your dental hygiene.
When we’re stressed as a result of a overly busy schedule, we tend to skip important elements of our routine that help to keep us healthy. This means that proper brushing and flossing regimens can often be tossed aside to spare time. Maintaining your dental hygiene routine is critical for keeping you healthy, fighting tooth decay, and preventing gingivitis. Therefore, it is important that stress does not get in the way of a solid dental hygiene routine!
To help reverse the effects of stress on your oral health, be sure to visit your dentist every six months. Call College Drive Dental Associates in Palos Heights today to book your appointment!