Did you know that stress negatively affects your teeth and gums, just like the rest of your body? This common problem in daily life comes from work, school, family, and friends. But you also feel stress based on your own fears, anxieties or expectations. Even your children need safeguarding from these effects of stress and dental health.
According to researchers in Brazil and the American Dental Association, stress affects your oral health. So how can you recognize this stress and preserve good oral health for yourself and your family, as you go through life’s trial and tribulations?
Risk Factors for Oral Decay and Disease
The American Dental Association recognizes several lifestyle factors that combine with stress for your highest risk of periodontal disease. So you can start fighting stress-related oral health problems by reducing your risk for dental decay and disease.
These risk factors include smoking or chewing tobacco, chronic diseases like diabetes, medications like steroids or anti-depressants, improperly fitted bridges and crooked teeth. Other risk factors include defective fillings, pregnancy, and oral contraceptive use.
Of course, many people suffer oral health problems with no warning signs at all. This is why you must visit your dentist twice yearly, also ensuring your children receive these six-month checkups. Always brush your teeth twice daily, floss regularly and eat a balanced diet.
What Triggers Effects of Stress and Dental Health
The triggers of stress and dental health vary from person to person. But many people feel stress from world events, war, parental worries, financial struggles, family problems, death, divorce or natural disasters. Even everyday work, school and family life causes stress for some. Any stress can trigger physical responses like periodontal disease or tooth decay.
Signs of stress in yourself or those around you include irritability, lying, defiance, lost friendships, headaches, and stomach aches. You also possibly sleep more or less than usual. In children and adults, eating habits change and unhealthy lifestyle habits pop up in times of stress. These work with oral hygiene problems to cause the effects of stress and dental health.
Some of the worst culprits in dental health problems from stress include dietary changes and unhealthy food choices. Thumb-sucking in children and bruxism at any age also compromise your dental health.
Beat Your Stress and Dental Health Risk
To reduce your risk of dental health problems from stress, consider making some lifestyle changes. Free yourself of the risk factors above and also follow these tips, below:
- Ensure you get enough sleep
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Talk openly about stress with your family
- Schedule regular dental visits
- Encourage your family members to keep a journal
- Seek therapy help when needed
You need to schedule regular dental visits for preventive dentistry twice each year. But if you feel you need additional visits, take advantage of your dentist’s ability to help you fight oral decay and disease. Dental services relevant to your oral health during stressful times include:
In Orlando, Florida, schedule your visit with S. Keith Mahan, DDS. Talk to the dentist about the effects of stress and dental health while undergoing your routine exam. Call 407-841-7241 and ensure your best dental health, no matter what stress you and your family face.