A recent survey by Nova Scotia Dental Association identified a close association between stress and oral health. It says managing stress may lead to improved oral health. 2019 Nova Scotia Oral Health Report confirms how stress can have a negative impact on your oral health.

According to the report, stress may contribute to the following conditions:

Canker Sores
The actual cause of canker sores is still not identified but it closely resembles to the way you deal with stress and anxiety. It often surfaces during high times of stress. Stress puts the immune system under pressure which often leads to the formation of sores. Canker sores are non-toxic but cause a little pain. On the other hand, cold sores are usually caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV-1)

Gum Disease
Gum disease is a serious disorder that is affecting millions of people every year. It is characterized by red and inflamed gums and also involves bleeding and tooth loss. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) says emotional anxiety could affect your oral health. Stress has an effect on the immune system that fights against the bacteria causing periodontal disease, thereby making your body more susceptible to gum infection.

Dry Mouth
Dry mouth often results due to medications that help reduce stress and anxiety level. The lack of saliva in your mouth causes an increased risk of tooth decay. Saliva washes away harmful bacteria from the teeth and gums. Therefore, having a dry mouth can be risky for your oral health. To prevent such mishappening, it is advisable to keep drinking enough water and stay hydrated. The dental association suggests chewing sugarless gum to help combat dry mouth.

Teeth Grinding
Also referred to as bruxism, teeth grinding often occurs unconsciously while sleeping. Though it’s not deadly, it may put strain on the jaw muscles and tissues and wear down your teeth. The other consequences are jaw pain, headache and permanent damage to your teeth. Teeth grinding triggered due to stress may cause sensitivity in teeth, sore jaw and insomnia.

How Is Stress Linked to Your Oral Health
It is generally seen that in a stressful condition people depend on unhealthy habits, be it smoking or drinking. These habits adversely affect oral health and contribute to oral cancer, gum disease or tooth decay.

Adopting self-care practice should be the first step to managing stress. If you keep practicing regular oral hygiene habits, like brushing, flossing and balancing your nutrition choices, you will be able to get rid of stress.

How to Handle Stress and Practice Smart Oral Hygiene Habits
Stress can include both physical and emotional pain. After observing the signs of stress, you need to come up with an action plan to manage it. Other than just brushing and flossing, you must use a tooth-friendly toothpaste which is rich in fluoride content. Using a night guard is also a quick fix solution to help get rid of bad oral habits. Eat a healthy balanced diet and do not forget to schedule a visit to your dentist once in every 6 months.

Request an appointment with us today to move towards a path of oral health and well being!