Stress impacts your body and health in many ways. It can prevent you from getting a restful night's sleep, lead to weight gain, cause you to go prematurely grey, and create many other issues which are detrimental to your life. But did you know that stress can also impact your teeth and gums?
When you experience high levels of stress, it can lead to a variety of oral health issues. There are several reasons for this:
- Decreased saliva production -- When your body produces high levels of stress hormones, it often limits your saliva production. When saliva production is reduced and your mouth is very dry, it creates ideal conditions for bacteria to grow rampantly. This can ultimately lead to tooth decay and gum disease, especially when combined with our next factor...
- Neglected oral hygiene practices -- Stress often causes you to neglect certain aspects of your life. Unfortunately, a good daily oral hygiene regimen is typically one of the most common things people seem to ignore when they're stressed. When you don't brush and floss as often as you're supposed to and you start missing your regularly scheduled dental checkups, you become much more susceptible to oral health issues.
- Grinding your teeth -- One of the most common actions caused by stress is grinding your teeth. Often, this may even develop into an unconscious habit. Unfortunately, grinding your teeth regularly can cause serious damage to your teeth and jaw. In severe cases, it may even result in a painful condition called TMJ.
- Compromised immune system -- Stress also impacts your immune system, which can indirectly impact your oral health.
In addition, stress is often linked to depression. When your stress level causes you to become depressed, it can impact your motivation to maintain regular oral hygiene practices necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy. To make matters worse, a common side effect of many depression medications is dry mouth. As we discussed earlier, dry mouth can have disastrous consequences for your oral health.
There are many reasons to take actions that will help you reduce the level of stress in your life. Your oral health is a very important reason. If you are experiencing higher than normal levels of stress, it's crucial that you visit our office for your regularly scheduled dental checkups so that Dr. Frank can identify any oral health issues in their earliest stages of development.
Please contact the Practice at Maxwell Place using the form at the right side of the page or call 201-792-9400 today to schedule your next appointment. Dr. Frank DePaola serves clients in Hoboken, Jersey City and throughout Hudson County, New Jersey.