How Does Stress Affect Your Oral Health? | Blog

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
  • Depression

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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