How Does Chronic Stress Affect Oral Health?

March 4, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mary Kay @ 3:29 am
Woman with chronic stress

Have you been feeling particularly stressed out? There are all sorts of reasons why you could be feeling this way. After all, a lot has been going on recently. Whether you are busy at work or dealing with a situation in your personal life, it is difficult not to feel some level of anxiety from time to time. What many people don’t know is that stress has negative effects on oral health. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to prevent this from occurring. Read on to learn about the effects of stress on your smile and how you can reduce anxiety.

How Does Stress Affect Your Oral Health?

Here are just some of the oral health issues that can be brought on by stress:

  • Periodontal disease: Whenever you are particularly anxious or depressed, your body produces more of a hormone called “cortisol.” Ultimately, this increases your risk of developing periodontal disease. Chronic stress can also impair your immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight off the infection.
  • Burning mouth syndrome: This painful condition is exactly what it sounds like. People who suffer from this describe the main symptom as being a scalding feeling in the tongue, lips, and roof of the mouth.
  • Canker sores: Most of us know what these small, painful ulcers feel like on the inside of the mouth. They are more apparent in people who are stressed.
  • Cold sores: These fluid-filled blisters are caused by the herpes virus. If you have this, you will be more likely to experience breakouts when you are stressed.

How Can You Relieve Stress?

Reducing anxiety levels is easier said than done, but there are techniques that seem to help. Here are some of the most effective ones:

  • Exercise: When you put physical stress on your body, you can relieve mental stress simultaneously.
  • Go easy on the caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant that you find in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and chocolate. It is great at helping you get up and moving, but it also contributes to anxiety.
  • Listen to music: Slow paced instrumental music, other types of classical music, and natural sounds are all found to be very common. If you are feeling tense, try listening to one of these.
  • Meditate: Try taking a step back and focusing on yourself. This may help to calm your nerves.

No one wants to feel stressed, especially when it takes away from dental health. Try some of the tips above to relieve your anxieties and see your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. This way, you can keep your smile in good shape!

About the Author

Dr. Allan J. Milewski is an experienced dentist who has been practicing for well over three decades. He earned his dental doctorate from The Ohio State University and is committed to continuing education in order to keep his knowledge and skills sharp. Currently, he is a proud member of the American Dental Association, Ohio Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. For more information or to schedule an appointment at his office in Medina, visit his website or call (330) 725-2242.

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