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Does Stress Affect Oral Health?


Stress does affect your oral health! Many people deal with some level of stress on a daily basis, and this can have serious consequences on your smile and overall wellness. Here are a few ways stress can affect your teeth and gums:

  • Bruxism is a condition that causes you to grind your teeth at night while your jaw muscles are relaxed. This puts unnecessary wear and tear on the teeth, causing chips, cracks, and even lost fillings. It can also cause jaw pain, headaches, and tooth sensitivity.
  • An increase in the amount of cortisol in your blood due to stress can increase the amount of plaque that builds up on your teeth. This can lead to an increase in cavities or gum disease, both of which require restorative treatments to fix the issue.
  • Sleep apnea is a common condition that develops when the soft tissues in your throat collapse while you sleep, blocking your airway and preventing you from breathing properly overnight. Unfortunately, this condition can lead to a number of health issues, including heart problems, stroke, and diabetes. The chronic fatigue caused by sleep apnea can also lead to poor oral hygiene habits, such as neglecting to brush and floss regularly. Over time, this can increase your risk of decay and periodontal problems.

While these are some of the main ways that stress can affect your oral health, there are also a number of other ways that it can impact your smile. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, please contact our team to schedule a consultation. We’ll be happy to examine your mouth and discuss options for treatment with you.

How to Manage Stress

1. Practice good oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing, as well as visits to your dentist’s office every six months, can do wonders for your oral health. These habits help remove bacteria and plaque buildup from your teeth, reducing your risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Reducing your stress will also help lower your risk of dry mouth since high-stress levels tend to cause excessive salivation.

2. Eat a healthy diet. Cutting sugary foods and drinks out of your diet can work wonders on your overall health, including your oral health. Avoiding sodas, candy, and other sticky sweets can help you maintain a healthy mouth balance and avoid getting cavities.

3. Exercise regularly. Exercising reduces stress and releases endorphins that help boost your mood. If exercise is something that you enjoy doing, it’s a great way to reduce your stress throughout the week—and it also helps get your heart pumping! If you don’t have time to hit the gym a few times a week, consider taking daily walks or practicing yoga instead. It’s also a good idea to limit the amount of caffeine you consume since it can trigger dehydration and increase feelings of nervousness and anxiety.

4. Get plenty of sleep. Not getting enough sleep can lead to irritability, poor concentration, and higher stress levels. Try to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep every night. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid eating a large meal before bed and try to stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible. You may also want to consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor to determine if any underlying medical conditions are causing your sleep problems.

At Kusek Family & Implant Dentistry, we offer a full range of services in a relaxed dental environment. To learn more about our dental services or to schedule your consultation with one of our dentists, call us at 605-371-3443 or visit us at 4921 E. 26th St., Suite 1, Sioux Falls, SD 57110.  

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4921 E. 26TH ST., SUITE 1,
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