Stress is a powerful emotion that can wreak havoc on nearly every part of your body. It can change the way you sleep, the way you think, and the way you function throughout the day. Stress also has a negative impact on your smile, more so than you probably realize. We have worked with a number of patients in our family dentist office in Chesterfield, MI, who simply needed stress relief to improve the quality of their smile.
Let’s explore how stress affects your oral health and what you can do to avoid negative effects in the future.
Teeth Grinding And Clenching
The most common oral side effects of stress are teeth grinding and clenching. Have you ever been in a stressful situation and instantly clenched your teeth? This is a natural reaction, but it isn’t necessarily a good one. People who feel high levels of stress throughout the day often grind their teeth to the point that they damage their enamel. This can also cause teeth to break, crack, chip or loosen over time. All of these issues can be fixed through cosmetic dentistry, but it is best to reduce your risk of them as much as possible.
Poor Oral Hygiene
If you’re stressed throughout the day, the last thing you want to do is come home and thoroughly clean your teeth. Brushing and flossing often get pushed to the side simply because a person feels exhausted. If you feel too stressed to brush and floss your teeth, at least try to rinse out your mouth with mouthwash. If you can casually go over your teeth with a toothbrush, that’s even better.
Try not to turn bad oral hygiene into a habit. Make a conscientious effort to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. Come in for your six month oral cleanings so the dental hygienists at Clinton Dental Center can get rid of built-up plaque and tartar. You’ll be able to conquer stress with a smile as long as your teeth are clean.
Poor Eating Habits
If you don’t have time to brush your teeth chances are you don’t have time to cook yourself a healthy meal. A diet full of fast food and snacks will quickly result in bad oral health, including the development of tooth decaying bacteria that feed off sugars in junk food. If you have to snack throughout the day, shoot for nuts, fruits and vegetables that are going to contribute to your health as a whole. This will improve your mind as well, which will help to reduce stress later on.