Stress is a feeling that occurs in response to certain events. It can be good or bad. At times, stress can be both. Stress can affect your health in many ways, including your oral health. Stress can make it more difficult to brush and floss your teeth, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
When you experience chronic stress, your body responds by flooding itself with stress hormones like cortisol. These hormones can suppress your immune system, slow your metabolism, speed up your heart rate, and cause inflammation throughout your body. Chronically high cortisol levels can also increase your risk of cavities and gum disease because they weaken your immune system. Inflammation interferes with the body's ability to fight off infection, so your oral tissues can easily develop bacterial plaque that triggers tooth decay or periodontal disease. It's a vicious cycle - because you're not able to fight the bacteria away on your own, you may experience even more stress and greater oral health problems.
Many people don't realize that stress can actually affect your oral health. Stress can cause teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. This results in excessive wear and tear on your teeth and can damage your enamel. It can also break down fillings and other restorations. Over time, this can lead to chips, cracks, and even missing teeth.
Chronic stress can also cause you to develop TMJ disorder. This occurs when your temporomandibular joints become misaligned or inflamed due to clenching of the jaw. It may also result in pain in the jaw or face, as well as difficulty opening your mouth. In severe cases, patients may find it difficult to chew food or even speak properly.
Routine dental procedures can also help reduce stress levels. A dentist can provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan to address any current oral health issues and restore your smile to its former glory. This can increase your self-confidence and improve your mood overall.
The good news is that you don't need to let stress negatively affect your oral health! While you may not be able to completely get rid of your stress levels, there are ways to manage it and avoid letting it affect your dental health. Make sure you're getting enough sleep every night. You'll want at least 7 hours each night to rest your mind and allow your body to repair itself. You should also incorporate exercise into your daily routine to burn off excess energy and relieve stress. You don't have to run a marathon to benefit - even a short walk every day can help loosen muscle tension caused by stress. Of course, you can't always control your stressors - sometimes, you just have to work through them. Schedule time throughout the week to be alone with your thoughts and feelings without distractions. Talk through your feelings with a friend or loved one to get a better understanding of where they're coming from and why they're bothering you. Sometimes, just talking these issues out can help you release some of the tension you're feeling and work through your stress.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Pham at Silver Summit Dental by calling us at (801) 542-0998 or visiting our office at 5734 13400 S, Herriman, UT, 84096.
5734 W 13400 S
Herriman, UT, 84096
Silver Summit Dental
5734 W 13400 S
Tel: (801) 542-0998
MON - TUE : 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
WED : 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
THU : 7:00 am - 2:00 pm
FRI : 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
SAT : By appointments only.
SUN : Closed