The Effect of Stress on Your Oral Health and Ways to Deal with It

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The Effect of Stress on Your Oral Health and Ways to Deal with It

Stress is an almost unavoidable problem in today’s modern life, and it affects our mental health very badly. Stress, which we initially experience mentally, can lead to some physiological problems in the human body over time. Some of the most common and obvious problems caused by stress are seen in our oral and dental health. Aphthae, teeth clenching, teeth grinding, dry mouth, and various gum diseases can start or progress due to stress. In this article, we will take a closer look at the effects of stress on oral health. In the second part of the article, we will give some tips to reduce stress that can be effective for everyone.

Effects Of Stress On Oral Health

As mentioned above, the Effects Of Stress On Oral Health on our oral and dental health can cause serious problems. Below we list the most common stress-related oral and dental health problems:

Aphthous Ulcers: 

Small sores with white edges that form in the mouth are called aphthous ulcers or canker sores. People with high levels of stress in their daily lives may develop canker sores more frequently.

Teeth clenching and teeth grinding: Excessive clenching and/or grinding of the teeth, also known as bruxism, is often related to stress. It usually happens during sleep. In the long term, this disorder leads to problems in the teeth and jaw structure.

Dry Mouth 

Dry mouth is basically a decrease in salivary fluid. When salivary fluid decreases, the amount of acid in the mouth increases, and tooth decay can start or accelerate.

Gum Diseases: 

You can recognize gum disease by the swelling, redness, or bleeding in your gums. People under intense stress have an increased risk of gum disease.

Tooth Decay: 

As well as developing due to the reasons listed above, tooth decay can also develop in patients without any gum disease or dry mouth. The risk may be higher for those who are going through a stressful period.

Mechanisms Of Stress Affecting Our Oral Health

A stressful life carries many risks for our oral and dental health. But how can our mental problems affect the inside of our mouths? Below we explain how stress can cause the problems listed above. Knowing these mechanisms that work as a bridge between our psychological and physiological health can be more motivating in dealing with stress.

Weakened Immune System: 

One of the most common damages that stress leaves on our bodies is a weakened immune system. Considering the fact that our oral health is threatened basically by bacteria, a weakened immune system can leave us vulnerable in the fight against bacterial infections.

Hormone Imbalances:

In times of stress, some hormones such as cortisone are secreted more than necessary. These over-secreted hormones pose a great risk, especially for the gums. Inflammation and related oral and dental health problems may be closely related to stress in this respect.

Unhealthy Behaviors:

People who are going through a stressful period may be more likely to use harmful substances such as drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol. Unfortunately, these habits, which cause much damage to our bodies, also cause serious damage to our dental health.

Neglecting Oral Care:

Stress can cause us to quit good habits as well as get negative behaviors and habits. One such negative behavior observed in stressful times is neglecting our oral care routines. Oral care routines tend to be abandoned or become sloppy when we are under stress. Daily practices, such as tooth brushing or flossing, can be lost due to stress. 

What Can I Do To Cope With Stress?

According to a Mayo Clinic article, there are 4 A’s of stress relief. They are Avoid, Alter, Accept, Adapt. We can adapt this to our dental health.

First, we should admit that it is not possible to avoid stress completely in modern life. Nevertheless, we can still reduce our stress levels by making some changes in our lives. Here is a bunch of useful tips to combat stress:

Try To Find The Source Of Stress:

When we are stressed, we may not know exactly what makes us so stressed. However, by noting the events of the day and how they make us feel, we can identify what makes us mentally exhausted during the day, week, or month. Keeping a diary or practicing mindfulness exercises can help with this.

Use Healthy Ways To Deal With Stress:

While substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and drugs may provide temporary relief for those who want to combat stress, they can face seriously damaging long-term consequences, including dental problems. Therefore, opt for yoga or other relaxing exercises instead of substances.

Review Your Time Management:

One of the most common complaints during stressful times is that it is difficult to keep up with daily or weekly plans Therefore, consider prioritizing the things you need to do. If some of the things you normally do seem not that necessary to you, remove them from your schedule. Then reasonably plan the remaining tasks. Don’t multitask. Do one thing at a time. Also, learn to say no to your loved ones when necessary.

Set Realistic Goals:

Make sure the goals you set for yourself are realistic and achievable. Goals that are out of your reach and unattainable can lead to mental problems as you fail to reach them. Instead, make it simpler. Setting small, achievable goals and rewarding yourself for each small goal you achieve will make you feel better.

Rest And Take Time For Yourself:

Don’t neglect yourself and joy in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Maintain routines that are good for both body and soul, such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, and various meditations. Do something that makes you feel good for at least 30 minutes every day. Reading a book, taking a shower, lying on the couch, taking a walk, and seeing a loved one can be some of them. 

Do Not Hesitate To Get Professional Support:

Although the above suggestions are practical and effective, some people may need professional help in more serious situations. Just knowing that you are not alone in coping with stress is an important achievement in itself. Do not hesitate to seek support from a well-trained psychologist or therapist.

What Does Melsadent Offer Me About Stress?

Melsadent Oral and Dental Health Polyclinic is a high-quality dental clinic serving international standards in the Tuzla region in Istanbul. It welcomes many patients from Turkey and abroad with the latest technology devices, modern treatment methods, and most importantly, the best dentists in their field.

We know that the most important part of the treatment of stress-related dental problems is to eliminate the stress factor. However, since the stress factor cannot always be detected and removed soon enough, it might take some time to free from stress completely. Meanwhile, some oral and dental problems require urgent intervention. For example, wearing night plates to prevent teeth grinding; and crowns, fillings, or implants to repair damaged teeth are some critical treatments that you can get at Melsadent. 

When you are under stress and suffering from dental problems, trust Melsadent. Once you step into the clinic, you will understand why it is the most exclusive dental clinic in Tuzla and the surrounding area. Many patients know that they can find the best dentists in Tuzla at Melsadent. Melsadent is waiting for you for all kinds of oral and dental problems whether they are stress-related or not. Don’t be late for healthy and beautiful smiles.


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