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Stress & Its Impact on Your Oral Health

Stresses WomanStress is a common problem in today’s world. No matter who we are, stress will affect us at some point or another. However, what you may not know is that anxiety can have a profound effect on your dental and oral health, as well as on your overall health.

If you allow your stress levels to get out of control, you’ll start to notice the toll it takes on your body. While our bodies are created to withstand temporary bursts of minor stress, anxiety that is continuous and untreated will cause damage to emotional, physical, and even dental health.

Dental Problems Caused or Worsened by Stress

Below are a few ways your stress can damage your oral health:

  • Cold sores & canker sores – Stress can increase the likelihood of developing cold sores and canker sores. There are special medications or rinses to try to manage the symptoms of these sores, but they will go away on their own with a few days to a week.
  • Bruxism – Bruxism is the term used for when you clench or grind your teeth in your sleep. This condition can cause damage to both the teeth and the jaws, even causing temporomandibular joint problems.
  • Gum disease – When you’re stressed, your body’s ability to fight off harmful bacteria is decreased. These bacteria include the plaque that builds up around the gum line. Once allowed to accumulate, you’ll become prone to gum disease and periodontitis.
  • Neglect of dental hygiene – Lastly, stressful situations can sometimes cause us to become distracted from our usual routines. This means your dental hygiene habits may fall to the wayside, making you vulnerable to dental cavities and tooth decay.

Managing Stress

Luckily there are a few ways you can help to manage stress. These include:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Eating a balanced and healthy diet
  • Taking time each day to do something you enjoy
  • Meditation
  • Speaking to a friend or therapist about your worries

If you’re concerned about how your stress may be damaging your dental health, please make an appointment with your general dentist. For any of your endodontics needs, call Endodontic Specialists at one of our three locations in Colorado Springs North, Colorado Springs South, and Pueblo, Colorado.

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