How Stress May Affect Oral Health

How Stress May Affect Oral Health

Stress is an inevitable part of our lives. It affects our behavior, well-being, and overall health. Even a small amount of stress can have negative impacts on your body. Stress also affects your oral health. It can lead to problems with your teeth, gums, and enamel. 

When you’re feeling stressed, it’s easy to stop taking care of yourself. You may skip meals, get enough sleep, or do anything else you can to feel better. Unfortunately, this can lead to issues in your mouth. If you’ve noticed some of the following side effects at your dentist’s office, it could be due to your stress and poor habits.

  • Teeth grinding and clenching
  • Erosion on the tooth enamel
  • Increased plaque and bacteria in the mouth
  • Pain in the jaw joints
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Mouth sores or lesions
  • Cavities
  • Bad breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • Canker sores
  • White spots on the tongue
  • Changes in appetite
  • Stomach problems

While some of these symptoms may be related to an existing health condition, others may be caused by a lack of self-care. Taking better care of your teeth by brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, using mouthwash to kill germs, and seeing a dentist every six months can protect your oral health and reduce the amount of stress you experience as a result.

If you suffer from anxiety or depression, talk to your dentist about ways to manage it so that it doesn’t affect your oral health. You should also ask your dentist about ways to manage your stress levels that can improve your smile.

When Stress Affects the Gums

While everyone deals with stress in different ways, there are some ways that stress can affect your oral health. For example, when your body is under stress, the levels of cortisol in your body are increased. This hormone can break down gum tissues, making your gums more sensitive and more vulnerable to gum inflammation. Also, if you’re not able to brush or floss your teeth regularly when you’re feeling stressed, you may be more susceptible to tooth decay. You may also notice that you are tenser in your muscles, which can make teeth grinding more likely.

In fact, some studies have shown that gum disease may increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even pregnancy complications such as preterm birth. 

To learn more tips to improve your oral health, contact University Oaks Dental, 6363 San Felipe St #200b, Houston, TX 77057 at (713) 461-8012, or schedule an appointment with us through our website.


6363 San Felipe St #200b, Houston, TX 77057

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