How Stress Impacts Oral Health. Spring Texas

How Stress Impacts Oral Health. Spring Texas

Stress can have all manner of effects on your body. These effects are both emotional and physiological. However, some of you may not know that the stress causes hormonal changes in the body, which can affect general oral health. Here are some of the ways that we at Vita Dental Houston have found affect oral health.

Teeth and Jaw

Your teeth and jaws can be greatly damaged by stress. The biggest effect that stress has on teeth and jaws is teeth grinding. Over time, this grinding wears down the surface of teeth. When you sleep, the grinding does not stop.

With time, the grinding can cause temporal mandibular Disorder also called TMJ. The effects of TMJ include jaw popping, jaw locking, swelling, facial pain, and severe headaches. It is quite clear that the teeth and bone to which they are attached are prone to stress. However, there are others.

Gums and Lips

If you do not resolve the stress, it will also affect your lips and gums. If stress is not checked, it causes the immune system to lower. This leads to attack by bacteria on the soft tissues of the mouth such as lips and gums.

One of the immediate effects that you get from a bacterial infection is gum disease. With regular oral care, the bacteria can be banished from the mouth before it gets to gums disease. When the immune system is compromised by stress, the bacteria will grow faster than we can remove it.

Some experts have even proposed an autoimmune illness called lichen planus manifests in the oral cavity when stress disrupts a hibernating virus. It can also trigger a bodily response. Once the virus has been activated, the body will attack its own tissue. This leads to the destruction of the tongue, gums, and the inner cheeks. This destruction manifests as ulcers, open sore, or as lines of discoloration.

Canker Sores

The painful bumps often called canker sores are a good example of how stress can hurt the lips and gums. No one knows how caner sores occur but they are at times caused by stress. The habits in which we engage when we are stressed like eating greasy food can cause canker sores to appear.

Burning Mouth Syndrome

This is a stress-induced illness that affects oral health. Mental stress seems to be the most common cause of this issue. The affected often complain of burning around the lips, tongue, and tingling in the gums and mouth roof. Thus far, the only known cause is stress.

Other Issues

Besides the discomfort and pain listed above, there are many other ways stress affects the body. For instance, the level of saliva will drop significantly. Over time, this can lead to dry mouth. With dry mouth, one of the immediate effects will be dried and cracked lips. It could also cause your breath to smell nasty. With time, it could cause a sore throat and even impair your chewing and speaking.

Stress will usually affect oral health in a bad way. If you are worried about handling a major life issue, the oral hygiene routine will most likely be impacted. When you do not brush or floss as you normally would, the chances of contracting the above-mentioned problems increases. From then on, a downward spiral that will most likely end up in a tooth being extracted. It could also mean major dental repairs that cost you thousands of dollars.

De-Stress Yourself

The above-mentioned effects of stress can seem bad. However, you can manage stress. Even when you are facing some of the toughest issues in life, you do not have to let stress destroy your life and your oral health.

One of the things that you can do to fight stress is regular exercise and eating good food. When you eat healthy meals, it will help the body maintain a good nutritional and chemical balance. This will ensure your immune system is strong enough to fight oral infections.

Besides that, you must remember to clean your mouth in the right way. That means brushing after heavy meals and flossing. Besides that, you should try yoga. This will help that body to relax even when you feel like you are carrying the world on your shoulders. You should also do things like listening to soothing music and funny comedies.

Avoid Negative Substance and Thoughts

However, avoid alcohol and drugs at all costs. Both of these will only have a negative effect on your oral health. They will also affect the ability of your body to fight stress. You also need to know that the ability to fight stress is within you.

Do not let your mind become clouded by negative thoughts of defeat. Remember to surround yourself with people who give you reassuring messages. If it is your job causing you so much damage, consider quitting and finding a less stressful one.