We all know stress is bad for our health. It is known to be a contributing factor in heart disease, obesity, headaches, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, and more. When you’re stressed out, it affects every part of your body. This includes your mouth. While it’s not possible to entirely get rid of stress, using stress reduction techniques and finding ways to relax will improve your health overall. It’s important to understand how stress affects your oral health.

Teeth Grinding

If you are prone to grinding your teeth, which is medically known as bruxism, stress will make it worse. A dentist can prescribe a mouth guard so you don’t grind your teeth while you sleep, but that doesn’t completely solve the issue. After all, you’re not wearing your mouth guard around the office. Work can be stressful but taking a minute to relax and unclench your teeth can help protect them.  There are also mouth guards that can be worn during the day, usually at stressful times like while driving or before an important meeting.

Poor Eating Habits

Not only can eating the wrong foods cause weight gain, but it can also speed up tooth decay. When we’re stressed, we’re more likely to make poor food choices. Stress makes us more likely to reach for a bottle of soda and many other unhealthy foods. These foods are usually high in sugar and will contribute to enamel erosion. Over time, enamel erosion could lead to an expensive dental bill which can cause more stress!

Neglect Your Dental Routine

When we’re stressed, it’s easy to pick up bad habits. We may be tempted to skip flossing or not brush our teeth for a full 2 minutes. This allows plaque to build up and eventually turn into tartar. You also may be tempted to skip your dental appointment.

If it’s time for your routine dental appointment or you need to get back on a schedule, call Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts to make an appointment with Dr. Makrauer or Dr. Miller.  Our dentists are well versed on this subject.  We have many patients that wear mouth guards with great success!