Stress and Your Oral Health
August 31, 2015
I would like to share some ways that our bodies may respond to stress from an oral health point of view, and also ways to calm our bodies and minds.
- The habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, usually while you’re sleeping, is called bruxism. It may be caused by stress. Symptoms include headaches, a sore jaw, frequent toothaches, and damage to teeth or dental work.
- Periodontal (gum) disease might be linked to high stress. Signs of gum disease include gums that bleed when you brush or floss; red, swollen or tender gums; and gums that have pulled away from your teeth.
- Canker sores may also be stress-related. These small sores appear on the soft tissues inside your mouth or on the base of your gums. Most canker sores go away in a week or two. Call the office if you have a sore that does not heal.
If you find yourself feeling stressed, try these simple tips:
- Always make time for brushing and flossing. These three to five minutes are time to do something positive to improve and maintain your health.
- Keep regular dental appointments so that we can take care of any teeth damaged from clenching or grinding, or prescribe a night guard to prevent further damage.
- Practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing or yoga, to control tension. Visualize a beautiful, relaxing spot like the beach.
- Exercise. Nothing reduces stress like a run or a bike ride.