Your body responds to stress in many ways. Your oral health can even be affected by stress. Here are some ways stress and your oral health are related:

  • The habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, typically while sleeping is called dental bruxism which may be caused by stress. Symptoms of bruxism include headaches, a sore jaw, frequent toothaches, and damage to teeth or dental work.
  • Periodontal (gum) disease might be linked to high stress. Signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when you brush or floss; red, swollen or tender gums; and gums that have pulled away from your teeth.
  • Canker sores may also be stress-related. These small sores appear on the soft tissues inside your mouth or on the base of your gums. Most canker sores go away in a week or so. If you have a sore that takes longer than two weeks to heal, please call the office for an exam with Dr. Poore.
  • Another way your body responds to stress is through unhealthy eating habits which ultimately affect your oral health. If you do find yourself reaching for sugary snacks throughout the day you are contributing to the plaque in your mouth.

If you find yourself feeling stressed, try these simple tips:

  • Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga to control tension and stress. You can also try visualizing a beautiful, relaxing spot like the beach or anything that makes you happy.
  • Exercise. Nothing reduces stress like a run or a bike ride.
  • Always make time for brushing and flossing. These three to five minutes are time to do something positive to improve and maintain your health.
  • Keep regular dental appointments so that we can take care of any teeth damaged from clenching or grinding, and make a custom night guard to prevent further damage to your teeth.