April 24, 2020
It’s only fitting that April is Stress Awareness Month. Since the emergence of COVID-19, people have been experiencing a heavy weight of stress and anxiety about not knowing what’s going to happen next. Unfortunately, your body often takes these emotional responses and can turn them into habits, coping mechanisms, or actions that can harm your oral health. Read on to learn how stress can impact the health of your teeth and gums and what you can do to stop dental problems from arising.
6 Ways Stress Can Impact Your Oral Health
Many people aren’t aware that stress can affect more than their mental health, it can also alter their physical and oral wellbeing too. If you feel the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic lurking over you and are constantly riddled with worry and anxiety, your body may respond by doing unhealthy habits that could result in several oral issues. Some of these stress-induced issues include:
- Teeth grinding while sleeping that increases your risk of damaging your teeth and eroding your enamel.
- TMJ disorder that causes jaw pain and the clicking or popping of your jaw when you open or close your mouth.
- Canker sores that are uncomfortable and inflamed ulcers around or in your mouth.
- Gum disease caused by a weakened immune system.
- Burning mouth syndrome or a dry mouth that can increase your risk of cavities.
- Nail biting that increases your risk of becoming ill as well as breaking or damaging a tooth.
Each of these can significantly increase your risk of developing oral health problems that could require an unexpected visit to your emergency dentist. If any of these habits sound familiar, you can take the necessary steps to avoid them by creating healthy new habits and controlling your stress and anxiety.
Observing Stress Awareness Month By Creating Healthy New Habits
The best way to observe Stress Awareness Month is by understanding how your oral health is impacted by stress and taking necessary measures to keep your teeth and gums healthy by tackling the root of the problem. Although it may be hard to adopt new behaviors right now, here are some ways that you can relieve your stress and protect your teeth:
- Practicing meditation and learning how to silence your mind and purging anxious thoughts.
- Exercising and getting fresh air can help get your mind off of any issues that are currently overwhelming or worrying you.
- Visiting your doctor or therapist to help you tackle the root of your stress or anxiety and finding new coping mechanisms to healthily handle these situations.
Although adopting new healthy habits in stressful time is difficult, if you do, you’ll feel so much better. Plus, your smile won’t have to suffer!
About the Author
Dr. Bhavita Patel has been a practicing dentistry for over a decade and enjoys providing her patients with high-quality dental care. She focuses on preventive dentistry, which allows her to tackle small oral health problems that her patients face before they ever have a chance to progress. She is also an active member of several professional organizations, including the North Texas Dental Society. For questions or to schedule a checkup and cleaning, visit Dental Renaissance’s website or call 972-423-0880.
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