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Affects of Stress on Oral Health

Posted by Truxel Dental May 25, 2023

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Stress can affect your whole body, including your oral health. In fact, stress has been linked to a number of serious oral health problems. That is because stress causes the body to release hormones that can result in inflammation. Inflammation can lead to problems with your gums and teeth.

How Stress Affects Your Whole Body

The mouth, being directly connected to the rest of your body and brain, can be affected by stress. Studies have shown that the stress hormone cortisol can directly lower your immune system and interfere with wound healing. When your cortisol levels are too high, your body isn’t able to fight off simple infections like a cold or the flu. This puts your oral health at risk since poor oral health can also increase your risk for systemic diseases such as heart disease.

Not only does stress compromise your immune system, but it also alters your sleep habits. A lack of sleep can lead to fatigue during the day and a lack of energy that impacts both your personal and professional life. Be sure to use strategies to manage your anxiety and practice self-care to maintain a healthy smile.

Oral Health Effects of Stress

When you experience prolonged periods of anxiety, your body releases hormones that increase your heart rate and blood pressure. These can cause a variety of uncomfortable physical symptoms, including dry mouth. A dry mouth occurs when your salivary glands produce less saliva. Saliva is necessary to rinse away food particles and keep your mouth clean. If you develop a case of dry mouth, your teeth will become more susceptible to cavities because plaque and bacteria will be much more prevalent in your mouth. The increased amount of bacteria could also cause gum disease or gingivitis to develop.

In addition to drying out your mouth, high-stress levels can also cause you to grind your teeth at night. This can lead to more serious issues like tooth sensitivity and cracked teeth. High-stress levels can also alter the shape of your face over time. For example, you may notice more wrinkles around your eyes or forehead. This can make your entire face look older than it really is.

In severe cases of chronic stress, it could lead to other health problems such as depression, heart disease, or diabetes. That’s why it’s important to find ways to relax and reduce the stress in your life. Get plenty of sleep each night, exercise regularly, and practice meditation or other stress-reducing techniques.

To learn more, visit Truxel Dental at 3880 Truxel Rd Suite #600, Sacramento, CA 95834, or call (916) 333-2700 to schedule an appointment.

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