Stress is part of our life and impossible to escape. Unless you manage it well, it can lead to physical, emotional, and mental health issues that impact your overall well-being. However, one commonly overlooked aspect of stress is how it can affect your dental health. This blog post will explore how stress impacts your oral health and ways you can alleviate the harm to your smile.

The Effects of Stress on Oral Health

There are a few ways that stress can negatively harm your oral health. You may experience:

  • Teeth Grinding Habits – Many people who experience stress tend to grind their teeth, either during the day or while they sleep. It can lead to chips, cracks, or dislodging a tooth. 
  • Gum Disease – Studies have shown that people dealing with high levels of stress are vulnerable to gum disease. It is because stress weakens the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off bacteria in the mouth. 
  • Lack of Saliva Production – When we are stressed, our bodies produce less saliva, which can lead to dry mouth. This can cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. 

How to Reduce the Impact of Stress on Your Oral Health

There are several things you can do to minimize the impact of stress on oral health. You may consider:

  • Stress Management Techniques – Consider adding routines such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to your day. These techniques can help to reduce overall stress levels.
  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene – Make sure you brush twice a day, flossing daily, and using a fluoride mouth rinse. By keeping the mouth clean, you can help to minimize the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Get a TMJ MouthguardIn some cases, we may recommend the use of a bite guard to help protect your teeth from the effects of teeth grinding or clenching. This is a custom-fitted device that is worn at night and can help to prevent tooth damage caused by grinding.
  • Get Regular Checkups – We’ll help identify any potential issues and can provide treatment before they become more serious. You’ll also get a thorough teeth cleaning to get rid of lingering plaque and bacteria.

Stress can have a significant impact on your oral health, leading to issues that could have been avoided. However, by practicing stress management techniques, maintaining good oral hygiene, and seeking regular dental care, you can minimize its impact. If you are experiencing stress and are concerned about its affect on your oral health, bring it up at your next checkup. We’ll provide guidance on the best ways to protect your teeth and gums.

To make an appointment, call Elizabeth Kilpatrick-Fox, DMD in Swedesboro, NJ today at 856-997-2767. You can also request an appointment online.