Stress. We all experience it in one form or another. Some of us experience it more often than not. Stress can take a toll on our emotional well being and it can impact physical health! Stress can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease. It can affect sleep and memory, cause headaches, and worsen depression. In Addition to all of that, stress can wreak havoc on your teeth! Here’s what you need to know:
Bruxism (teeth grinding): High levels of stress can lead you to grind your teeth during the day, at night or clench your jaw. If you think you might be doing this, talk to your dentist about getting a HARD night guard to protect your teeth. Prolonged teeth grinding can wear down your enamel, cause tooth decay or sensitivity, and may even do permanent damage to the jaw.
Periodontal Disease: Long-term stress can weaken your immune system. When the immune system is weak, your body has a harder time fighting off bacteria, which makes you more susceptible to infections like gum disease.
Canker Sores: Although the cause of canker sores is not known for sure, one potential trigger may be stress.
If you think you are experiencing symptoms of stress, it is extra important to take care of yourself. Some stress relievers may include yoga, meditation,exercise, diet and even counseling.
To help ensure oral health is not being affected, be vigilant about brushing, flossing, eating healthy foods, and drinking plenty of water. This can minimize the negative impacts of stress.