How Does Stress Affect Your Oral Health?
High levels of stress affects your entire body, this includes your mouth, teeth and gums.
Possible impacts include:
- Grinding and clenching your teeth
- Bad diet
- Periodontal disease or worsening of existing periodontal disease
- Canker, Mouth and Cold Sores
- Biting of your nails, ice, pencils, etc
Knowing how to prevent these problems can help!
Mouth/Canker Sores: To reduce the irritation of mouth sores, don’t eat spicy or hot foods or foods that contain a high acid content like: tomatoes or citrus fruits. Mouth/Canker sores usually disappear in 7-10 days. For relief try an over the counter anesthetic.
Cold Sores: Like canker sores, usually heal in 7-10 days, but are contagious. Treating them as soon as you can with an over the counter medication or a prescription antiviral drug will allow the healing process to start as soon as you feel them coming on.
Teeth Grinding: See your dentist right away to see if they may recommend an occlusal guard/bite guard to be worn at night will you sleep.
Bad Diet: Remind yourself that healthy eating may help and that a regular exercise routine can relieve stress, turn up your energy levels and encourage you to keep eating healthy.
Periodontal Disease: Stress can lead to depression and cause gum problems or irritate an already existing gum issue. Eating balanced meals, brushing twice a day and flossing once a day will help keep the disease at bay. You may also want to use an antibacterial mouth rinse twice a day to minimize plaque causing bacteria. Talk to your health care provider right away if you feel you may be depressed.
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