How Does Stress Affect Oral Health

How Does Stress Affect Oral Health

Posted by Darren Gonzalez DDS Apr 27,2023

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According to the American Institute of Stress, stress is an internal reaction to any stimulus that places your body under stress. The stimuli can be both good and bad, but the body only perceives them as being negative.

Stress activates the “fight or flight” response in your body. Your heart rate increases, your heart beats faster, and your breathing becomes faster and shallower. Your body releases the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline into your bloodstream. These hormones prepare you to either fight or run away from a stressful situation. Being stressed out on a regular basis can cause a number of health problems, including severe oral health concerns.

Stress can also contribute to poor food choices. When stressed, you may crave foods high in sugar and carbohydrates to give yourself a boost of energy. High amounts of sugar in your diet can damage your teeth and lead to tooth decay. Additionally, chronic stress can cause you to neglect oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing. For these reasons, it’s especially important to practice good oral hygiene habits while dealing with stress and have regular dental cleanings and exams to prevent damage from occurring.

How Does Stress Affect Oral Health?

Studies have shown that chronic stress can negatively impact your oral health. When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol into the bloodstream. Cortisol is a hormone that has a catabolic effect on the body’s tissues and organs. This means that it breaks down oral tissue cells and promotes inflammation of the gums. It can also cause dry mouth, which can increase the risk of tooth decay.

When the body is under a lot of stress for long periods of time, it can lead to a number of serious health consequences.

Since you can’t always control the stressful situations that you are in, it’s important to try and limit the impact on your health. Practicing healthy stress management techniques can help you prevent negative effects on your overall health. Some ways to reduce your stress levels include exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, practicing mindfulness, and making time for yourself. You can talk to your dentist about other ways to manage your stress. Our team also focuses on educating our patients about their treatment so they can feel more at ease and receive better treatment results. If you’re feeling stressed about an upcoming dental treatment, our team can provide sedation dentistry options to help you relax during your visit.

To learn more, visit Darren Gonzalez DDS at 1515 Montgomery Drive Ste B, Santa Rosa, CA 95405, or call (707) 542-1532.

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