How to Limit the Impact of Stress on Your Dental Hygiene

Do you find yourself stressed recently? Is it starting to have a noticeable impact on your mood and day to day life? If so, it may also be having an often overlooked impact on your oral hygiene as well. In which case, it’s important to be aware of the potential symptoms of stress on your oral health. And, more importantly, ways in which you can help to reduce these symptoms for a happier, less stressful, and mouth-happy life. 

Symptoms of Stress 

When it comes to stress and your dental health, understanding what is a result of stress can often be quite difficult. Especially as a majority of the time, you may be stressed without realising this fact until later. However, once you do recognise the signs of stress, some ways you may find it affecting your oral health may include: 

  • Sores – canker sores are small white/grey spots that develop in your mouth, sometimes in isolation or in greater clusters. The exact cause of these sores is unknown, but it is likely due to a lowered immune system. Stress is also thought to heighten the likelihood of gaining these. 
  • Teeth Grinding – when you are stressed, it can result in either clenching or grinding of your teeth. If this is already a problem for you then stress can only worsen the symptoms. 
  • Over Eating – during stressful periods of your life, snacking on sugary food or drinks can become all too frequent. All of which can increase your chances of tooth decay and gum disease in the long term.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene – stress can result in mood changes, which may cause you to take less care or avoid brushing altogether. This can result in increased numbers of cavities or the development of more serious dental issues. 
  • Gum Disease – over time, poor hygiene can result in long-term dental health issues such as gum disease. This is a serious issue which can then result in bigger dental problems, so it is better to catch these symptoms early to prevent escalation. 

How to Reduce Stress 

Reducing stress at the source is the best way to help combat some of the above symptoms. However, fitting these methods into your everyday life may not always be that easy. That is why, for the most part, it can be important to make time for stress-reduction and making it a priority. As only then will you be able to help improve your overall health, including your long-term oral health. 

Good ways to battle stress include: 

  • Exercise – going for a run, joining the gym and even cycling can all be great ways for you to improve the amount of exercise in your life. And over time this can help to reduce your stress levels exponentially. Particularly as during exercise your body releases serotonin; the body chemical which improves your mood. 
  • Caffeine – found in coffee, tea and energy drinks, caffeine in high doses can work to increase your anxiety and stress levels over time. Each individual has different caffeine tolerances, so it is important to know your limit. If you get jitters, anxious or feel different when drinking caffeine, then it is important to reduce your intake. 
  • Socialise – spending time with friends and family during periods of stress can be extremely beneficial to your mood and managing said stress. Especially if you find yourself becoming isolated. Arranging days out, meetups and even inviting people over to your house can be a good way to ensure that you remain social even during stressful periods. 
  • Take a Walk – sometimes removing yourself from the environment causing you stress is the best way to help reduce its effect on your mental wellbeing. Try and find a scenic nature walk with lots of interesting things to catch your attention, you may find your stress floating away! 

Visit Your Dentist 

Of course, cutting out stress from your life isn’t always a possibility. But, good oral hygiene and caring for your teeth health is important alongside these everyday stress factors. Which is why visiting your oral hygienist is especially important during periods of stress in your life, as you are far likelier to be experiencing issues or to develop issues during this time. 

As such, book an appointment or call our friendly reception team on 01925 756565 to help ensure you have strong oral hygiene, no matter what life throws at you. 


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