DOES STRESS AFFECT MY ORAL HEALTH?

References:
Papathanasiou, E., Palaska, I., & Theoharides, T. C. (2013). Stress hormones regulate periodontal inflammation. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents27(3), 621-626.

Rosania, A. E., Low, K. G., McCormick, C. M., & Rosania, D. A. (2009). Stress, depression, cortisol, and periodontal disease. Journal of periodontology80(2), 260-266.
In addition to taking a toll on our emotional wellbeing, stress can impact physical health. Studies show that stress can increase risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease, affect sleep and memory, cause headaches, and worsen depression. Did you know that stress could also impact the health of your smile?

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Canker sores: Although the cause of canker sores is not certain, one potential trigger may be stress.
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding): High levels of stress can cause you to grind your teeth or clench your jaw, particularly while sleeping. If you notice your front teeth are flattened or you feel soreness in your jaw in the morning, talk to your dentist about getting a night guard to protect your teeth. Prolonged grinding of the teeth can wear down your enamel, cause tooth decay or sensitivity, and may even result in permanent damage to the jaw.
  • Periodontal disease: Chronic stress can deteriorate your immune system. When the immune system is weak, your body struggles to fight off bacteria, which makes you more susceptible to infections like gum disease. If you are under stress, it is even more important to take care of your health. Be conscientious about maintaining a healthy diet, brushing, flossing, and drinking plenty of water to help you minimize the negative impacts of stress!