How Does Stress Affect Your Oral Health?

Posted by Legacy Dental Clinic Mar 28, 2023

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Stress can negatively affect your oral health. Stress can affect your body in many ways. Your immune system, for example, may slow down when you are under a lot of stress. This makes it harder for your body to fight off infections, including oral infections.

Stress Can Affect Your Oral and Overall Health

When you are feeling stressed about something, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode. This causes an immediate response in your body in order to fight the stressor. When you are experiencing chronic stress, however, the fight-or-flight response may not turn off after the stressor is gone. Chronic stress can cause inflammation in your body and has been linked to a variety of health problems, including disease, depression, and anxiety. Because your mouth is connected to the rest of your body, stress can affect your oral health as well. In fact, if your body is in a constant state of stress, you may experience more oral health problems than someone who is more relaxed. You may notice that your gums bleed more easily when experiencing stress. This is because the stress of the situation causes the body to release hormones that increase blood flow to the gums. This increased blood flow causes the gums to become irritated and inflamed. You may also notice that you have bad breath when you are stressed out.

When you are constantly stressed, your body releases increased levels of cortisol. This can cause a number of problems in addition to negatively affecting the health of your mouth. For example, the hormone can trigger teeth grinding or clenching and can even lead to inflammation in your body. 

How to Manage Stress

Reducing your stress levels is an important component of maintaining your oral health. While stress may sneak up on you, there are certain things you can do to help better manage your stress levels.

  • First, try to exercise for at least thirty minutes a day. This helps to burn off some of your energy and can allow you to focus on other things throughout the day.
  • Next, try to eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. This can help you feel better about yourself and give you more energy to get through your day.
  • Finally, try not to schedule things back to back if possible. You need to give yourself time to rest and relax. If you can do this, you will feel much better in the morning than if you had done all of these things back-to-back.

By reducing and managing stress, you can maintain a healthier smile and keep complications at bay. 

To learn more, schedule your consultation with Dr. Jennifer Nguyen! If you’re concerned about the state of your smile and how it’s affected by stress, call our office at (825) 467-8888 at Legacy Dental Clinic located at 4224 Gateway Blvd Edmonton, AB.

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