November 4, 2020
Research shows chronic stress can have serious consequences for your mental and physical health. Your body can interpret the demands from everyday life as threats, causing a natural stress response. Nerve and hormonal signals trigger the adrenal glands to release a surge of hormones. This elevates your heart rate and blood pressure, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Your mouth can also suffer the effects of chronic stress and hormonal shifts. Your dentist in Southlake can help save your smile until your stress and hormone levels return to normal.
Protect Your Smile from Stress
Stress is proven to have negative effects on your teeth and gums. In fact, there is extensive research showing the connection between poor dental health and long-term stress, such as an increased risk of tooth fractures or jaw pain. Stress can manifest in various ways that can damage your smile, such as:
Nail-biting is a common habit for people during stressful situations. Not only can it lead to unattractive nails, but it also poses various risks for your smile, including introducing bacteria or viruses to the mouth, injury to the gums, and worn enamel.
It can be a hard habit to kick, but it’s best for your smile. Adopting new behaviors is the ideal way to stop the biting, like chewing sugar-free gum or even tapping your fingers. There are also bitter-tasting nail polishes that can help deter you from putting your fingers in your mouth.
Everyone gets the occasional canker sore, which is a shallow wound in the mouth. Although they are small, they can be quite painful. Canker sores are linked to several factors, like hormonal imbalances caused by stress.
Your dentist can help ease your discomfort and allow your mouth to heal with laser dentistry. Not only can you get relief from the canker sore, but it can also quicken the overall recovery.
Many people grind or clench their teeth when they experience stress. Often, it occurs subconsciously or while you’re sleeping, so you might not even be aware of it until other symptoms occur. People who suffer from bruxism can experience jaw pain or have worn enamel from the pressure of grinding. Over time, your teeth can loosen and even fall out.
Your holistic dentist in Southlake can help preserve your smile with a mouthguard. The custom-fit device provides a cushion between your upper and lower teeth to protect your enamel while relieving stress from your jaw.
Combat the Effects of Stress
It’s best to practice specific exercises to minimize your stress levels, like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing. With changes to your lifestyle, you can help to ensure stress doesn’t leave a blemish on your smile.
About Dr. Preetha Thomas
Dr. Thomas earned her DMD degree from the Advanced Standing Program at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in Boston. She has completed additional training in many areas of specialty, including oral pathology and maxillofacial oral surgery. If your teeth and gums have been affected by stress, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
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