Stress might sound like a strange thing for us to be talking about, but stress can have a real impact on oral health. There are many ways in which stress can affect the health of the teeth, mouth and gums, all of which will vary from one person to another.
For some people, stress can lead to dietary changes – either not eating enough or finding comfort in an overindulgence of sugary snacks and treats – which can lead to a lack of essential nutrients for good health, and an increase of sugars that we all know are bad for the teeth.
In some patients we see signs of tooth grinding, something that is usually associated with and a result of stressful periods. This, of course, can lead to tooth wear, but it can also result in headaches and other pains in the jaw, too.
What can you do?
If you are experiencing stress, the first thing to do is recognise it. You may be under pressure at work, moving house, having financial difficulties, experiencing emotional strain such as grief, or a multitude of other reasons, but it is important to understand that certain factors are impacting on your mental and physical well being.
Try to combat stress by allowing yourself some time to do the things you enjoy, such as exercise, spending time with friends, or just pausing to read a great book. It is also good to talk to someone you trust, they say a problem shared is a problem halved and in many cases this can really be the case. Having another perspective on things can help to alleviate problems and reduce your stress.
During times of stress it is vital to be aware of any signs that show your body might be suffering, so don’t ignore these. If you are experiencing weight loss, headaches, tiredness, or anything else that is out of the ordinary, book an appointment with your GP and your dentist just to check everything is ok and seek advice for any symptoms you might be suffering.
If you’d like to speak to us about how the impact of stress on oral health, book an appointment today by calling 01565 633034.