How Stress May Affect Your Oral Health

Posted by AUSTGEN FAMILY DENTAL on Nov 10 2022, 06:03 AM

Stress is a common part of life, and it can affect our physical and mental health. It can also affect our oral health. Studies show that stress can lead to an increase in harmful oral bacteria. It can also cause an increase in stomach acids that can damage tooth enamel.

Link Between Stress and Oral Health

People often think that stress is a mental problem, but it affects the entire body in different ways. 

  • When you feel stressed, your adrenal glands release cortisol and adrenaline into your bloodstream, which are hormones that trigger an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. These physical changes in the body can worsen existing oral health conditions like gum disease or tooth decay, and they can even contribute to oral cancer in some cases.
  • The increased heart rate and blood pressure caused by stress can cause dry mouth, which is a major cause of bad breath. And, since saliva is able to clean your teeth and safeguard them from decay, a lack of saliva can leave you more vulnerable to cavities.
  • Some studies have found that prolonged exposure to stress can reduce the efficacy of your immune system, which leaves it weakened and unable to fight off infections in the mouth. This means that if you suffer from chronic periodontal disease or other systemic infections, the stress you’re experiencing could make it difficult for your body to heal itself naturally.
  • Finally, the stress hormone cortisol has been found to be one of the most significant contributors to the development of wrinkles because it breaks down collagen in the skin and reduces blood flow to the area. Because the skin of the mouth is delicate and thin, these wrinkles can become more pronounced with excessive stress and may lead to premature aging.

Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your stress levels and improve your overall wellness. For instance, you can make time each day for self-care and focus on eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep each night. You may also want to talk to a therapist about ways to manage your stress more effectively.

If you are overdue for a dental exam, schedule an appointment with your dentist today! By getting regular cleanings and exams, you can reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease while also helping to improve your total wellness. 

Schedule an appointment with Austgen Family Dental to learn more about oral care. We are at 1405 W County Line Rd, Suite A, Greenwood, IN 46142. Contact us at (317) 885-6400 or visit our website to book an appointment. 

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1405 W County Line Rd Suite A, Greenwood, IN 46142

Phone: (317) 885-6400

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1405 W County Line Rd Suite A,
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Phone: (317) 885-6400

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8:30 am - 4:30 pm

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