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Lady suffering with poor oral health due to stress

Stress and Oral Health – The Connection

Stress can occur when something negative is impacting our lives, and the last thing you’d think about is how it impacts your oral health. You probably don’t think there’s even a link between stress and oral health. Well, there is.

Ongoing stress is linked to adverse mental and physical issues, but studies have linked stress and oral health together. It is natural for stress to occur, but don’t start worrying about the impact it has on your oral health, because we have this covered so you can take some small steps to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Below breaks down the connection between stress and oral health.

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Gum Disease

Gum disease has various stages that can penetrate harmful bacteria into your gums and your bloodstream. The advanced stage of this is known as Periodontal disease. When experiencing periodontal disease, your gums become swollen and inflamed. Gums can recede if it progresses and bacteria can penetrate through the roots of the teeth and into your bloodstream. When this happens, you’re likely to experience tooth loss. Stress contributes to a lack of oral management or neglecting your oral routine. This then opens the door for your gums to become damaged.

Bad Dental Hygiene

When constantly stressed, the last thing you’ll think about is how strong or weak your oral hygiene is. This opens the door for your mouth to be impacted by plaque and bacteria build-up, exposing your enamel when both combine together with sugars from food to cause an acid attack. You may skip brushing your teeth at night or rinse your mouth after a meal. Plaque and bacteria then penetrate, which are the initial signs that your teeth may experience decay.

Dental Habits

When stressed, you’re more likely to carry out bad habits that can damage your teeth almost instantly Habits such as using your teeth as an opening tool, biting down on materials or grinding your teeth. Wear-and-tear will eventually build up on your teeth, damaging your smile and requiring cosmetic treatments to resurrect your smiling confidence.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding is especially common during stress. This occurs when the upper and lower roof of your teeth bite down, clench and grind backwards and forwards. Every time you do this, the edges of your teeth become rough and you’ll likely introduce chips and cracks. Teeth grinding can also lead to jaw and facial pain. A dental mouthguard can help you with this, especially when asleep because teeth grinding is mainly a symptom that happens when you sleep. Therefore, if you’re stressed throughout the day, teeth grinding is likely when you’re getting your rest.

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There you have it. Stress and oral health are closely linked. When stressed, these habits will become a regular occurrence with a lack of quality sleep. Your oral hygiene will slip and before you know it, your smile becomes degraded. Staying on top of oral health is straightforward, but sometimes, stress can be due to external factors out of your control. When this happens, you may want to consider techniques that reduce your stress so your teeth don’t get impacted, such as regular exercise and meditation.

Are you worried about your stress and oral health? Contact us at Sutherland Dental today for some helpful advice from our exceptional dentists. Click here to check yourself in with us today!

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