How Can Stress Affect Oral Health?

Stress-related disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, affect millions of Americans. Stress is a natural response to challenging situations. Our body releases hormones that prepare us to react to a stressful situation. Stress can affect your quality of life in many ways, including your oral health. Stress can cause you to grind your teeth, clench your jaw, or suffer from chronic headaches or migraines. Stress can also trigger a flare-up of oral health conditions, such as gum disease.

Stress is a feeling of emotional or mental tension. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences, but the body reacts to stress in the same way in both cases. During times of stress, the body releases stress hormones that increase your heart rate and blood pressure. This can also cause your mouth to sweat. Some people may even experience dry mouth as a result of increased saliva production during moments of stress. The mouth may feel dry because the body is trying to eliminate any harmful microbes the stress response caused.

How Stress Affects Your Oral Health

Our bodies are under constant stress, but we don’t always realize it. Stress can be caused by a number of different reasons and can have many negative effects on your body. However, it can also cause oral problems as well. It sounds crazy, but here are some of the ways that stress can affect your oral health.

  • If you suffer from bruxism or grinding your teeth, you may be experiencing this because of stress. A night guard could be the solution you need to protect your teeth from damage.
  • Acid reflux can cause erosion to your teeth when stomach acid comes in contact with them for a long period of time. While acid reflux can be directly caused by stress, it can also be triggered by stress and make it worse.
  • Your gums can be sore when you’re stressed, and this is due to a decrease in blood flow. Gum disease can also be affected by your stress levels.
  • An increase in cortisol production in your body can cause dry mouth, which leads to an increase in tooth decay as well as gum disease. Stress can also affect your immune system, which makes it harder for your body to fight off bacteria that can lead to cavities.

These are just some of the ways that stress can negatively affect your oral health. If you’re concerned about how stress is affecting you, talk to your dentist about ways to help reduce your stress levels. They will be able to provide you with advice on how to manage your stress with healthy habits that can help your overall well-being.

Julita S Patil DDS Inc., located in Concord, CA, is equipped with the best dentists and modern technologies. To schedule an appointment with the dentist, call the dentist in Concord, CA, at (925) 689-2585 today. 

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