With the holidays behind us and the start of a fresh year, many people take the opportunity to change their lifestyle habits and works towards a healthier future. There are many ways to do this, from cutting out sweets to making a commitment to going to the gym on a regular basis. One area that could probably use some attention that many people neglect is their oral health. Believe it or not, but our oral health actually has a major impact on our overall health and happiness. While the holidays are notoriously the time of year many people feel stressed and run down, this often carries into the new year.
We have discussed the importance of a smart at-home oral care routine as well as ways to keep your teeth healthy in the face of sweets, but are you aware of just how much stress can affect your oral health? Stress does far more than make you anxious and full of worry; it also can impact your physical well-being, state of mind, and oral health. In fact, researchers have discovered a connection between anxiety and dental problems. For this reason alone we encourage you to make an effort to improve your oral health habits in this new year. In doing so, your chances of living a happier and healthier 2017 are much greater.
Stress and Your Oral Health
Thanks to researchers and countless studies, we are now learning just how harmful stress can be on our bodies, including our teeth and mouths. Those suffering from anxiety or depression have a higher chance of developing dental problems. Some of the dental conditions stress is known contributor of are:
- Bruxism – Grinding of the teeth is one of the biggest signs of stress when looking at oral health. In fact, stress can cause us to grind our teeth so much at night, it can lead to extensive tooth damage.
- Canker Sores – Canker sores are somewhat of a mystery, but we do know that they can be brought on by stress. Even though they are harmless, they can be quite painful for the individual.
- Dry Mouth – When someone is stressed out, their mouth may not produce enough saliva, which can in turn lead to more stress for the individual. Chronic dry mouth is a real problem that many people suffer from.
- Burning Mouth Syndrome – This condition is less common than those mentioned above, but nonetheless worth mentioning. Psychological problems – such as stress, depression, and anxiety – are just a few of the factors known to cause burning mouth, which is characterized by a burning sensation on the tongue, lips, gums, or palate.
- Gum disease – Researchers have learned that the severity of gum disease can increase when individuals are experiencing high levels of stress. Furthermore, those at a greater risk of gum disease are those who are stressed out or are highly emotional when it comes to dealing with difficult topics.
These are just a few of the dental conditions that are linked to stress. As we dive into 2017, we encourage you to take a hold of your oral health and do everything you can to ensure the year ahead is one of good health and fortune. If you have any questions about the conditions listed above or would like to schedule a consultation with us, please do not hesitate to contact Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas.