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How Can Stress Impact Your Oral Health?

May 15, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — cowelldental @ 2:43 pm

stressed person holding their forehead in their handsStress impacts countless Americans on a daily basis. Many people don’t realize that when it’s left unchecked, it can begin to impact other parts of your body, such as your immune system and oral health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re likely trying to process immense amounts of anxiety all while staying isolated in your home. If you’re having a hard time doing this, your dentist in DeLand has a few tricks and tips to help, so your oral health doesn’t begin declining as well.

How Common is Stress?

While there aren’t many statistics out analyzing stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, The American Institute of Stress has estimated that 55 percent of people feel stress on a daily basis. That’s 20 percent higher than the world average of 35 percent. In addition, the Institute found that American adults from the ages of 30-49 are typically the most stressed.

Stress, anxiety, and worry can all have serious implications on your overall wellbeing, especially if you’re not sure of how those issues can manifest.

How Can Stress Affect Your Mouth?

When you leave stress and anxiety unchecked, they can cause your body to act them out in physical ways, such as teeth grinding and clenching. Being overwhelmed can also prevent you from keeping on top of your oral hygiene routine, which can increase your risk of developing serious issues, such as cavities and gum disease. Some additional problems that can develop due to this include:

  • Jaw disorders, such as TMD
  • Cold sores
  • Oral infections due to a weakened immune system
  • Tooth decay
  • Increased risk of breaking a tooth

When you get stressed, your immune system becomes weakened and you can become more susceptible to infections such as gum disease. This is due to the stress hormone corticosteroid that your body produces, which suppresses the effectiveness of your immune system by lowering the number of lymphocytes.

Why is it Important to Keep Your Mouth Healthy While Self-Isolating?

By addressing your stress level and being mindful of your coping mechanisms while you’re self-isolating, you can prevent the development of oral health problems that can lead to additional anxiety. Here are some tips to help control your stress and avoid issues such as tooth decay and gum disease:

  • Take time to meditate daily
  • Keep up with your dental hygiene routine
  • Schedule a teletherapy appointment
  • Don’t forget to floss and rinse with antimicrobial mouthwash
  • Set goals and priorities while you’re self-isolating to feel productive
  • Regularly exercise to help blow off steam

With these precautionary measures in place, you can optimize your oral health while you’re self-isolating and help reduce your stress during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s also important to continue visiting your dentist in DeLand for preventive care to help treat small oral health issues before they have a chance to progress.

About the Author

Dr. Christopher Cowell has nearly two decades of experience as a dentist. He is passionate about helping his patients maintain great oral and overall health. That’s why he focuses on providing high-quality preventive dental care. He’s currently accepting appointments for new and existing patients while implementing strict safety protocols. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call 386-734-8585.


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