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How Stress Negatively Affects Your Oral Health

April marks Stress Awareness Month. While stress and the mouth may seem unrelated, the COVID pandemic has made it clear that they are interconnected! In fact, stress can be the root of many emotional and physical problems, including dental issues that are on the rise. This Stress Awareness Month, read on to discover more about the connection between stress and oral health.

Dental problems caused by COVID stress:

There are numerous dental problems caused by stress-directly or indirectly. Dentists across the world have seen spikes in grinding, facial pain, and tooth damage since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, an ADA survey noted that 70% of dentists have seen an increase in grinding and clenching, while 60% have noted increased TMJ disorder symptoms as well as chipped or cracked teeth.

Stress can have a big impact on your mental state. Everyone reacts to stress differently, but we often see stress as a cause for neglect of oral health—as well as overall wellness. Everything from clenching your teeth and jaw to not brushing or missing a dental appointment can be linked to stress.

Address your symptoms:

Many of the dental issues caused by stress can be addressed by reducing your symptoms. Teeth grinding damage can be prevented by wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard at night. If you tend to stress eat, avoid hard, chewy, sugary, or acidic foods to reduce your chances of developing a cavity. Skip tobacco and limit alcohol, both of which increase oral cancer risks. Tackle facial or jaw pain by visiting our experts. If you have any concerns about sensitive, damaged, or cavity-filled teeth, book an appointment immediately with our team.

Dentist-approved stress reduction tips

Whenever possible, prevent stress. This can be managed to an extent by living a healthy lifestyle. Exercising regularly is a great source of elevating your mood by getting your blood flowing, which releases endorphins. Furthermore, getting a good night’s sleep is necessary for energy, focus, mood, and basic functioning. Practicing good sleep hygiene can allow you to enjoy a better night, even after stressful days. Finally, maintaining a proper diet can also manage stress. If you are well nourished throughout the day, you often will not reach for those unhealthy and cavity-causing snacks.

During this Stress Awareness Month, remember to be kind to yourself. Small actions can add up to improve your mental health and, as a result, your physical and oral health. Visit our team for a biannual appointment and fight off those stress-related dental problems. Call us at 614-459-2300 to book that cleaning-it’s one less thing to stress about!

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