How Does Stress Affect Oral Health

Stress is a common part of life. While a little stress can be healthy, too much can take a toll on your mental and physical health. The term “stress” means different things to different people, but in general, it means feeling worried or anxious over something. Some common sources of stress include work, school, family responsibilities, money problems, and health problems. Stress can also come from major life events like marriage, divorce, a death in the family, or a move.

Stress and Oral Health

Emotional stress can take a toll on your body and cause a number of health issues like high blood pressure, headaches, insomnia, diarrhea, constipation, mood changes, and fatigue. It can also affect the areas of your body that are most impacted by hormones, including the gums and teeth.

The hormone cortisol is released by the adrenal glands as part of the body’s fight-or-flight response. Normally cortisol levels are highest in the morning as you wake up and gradually decrease throughout the day so the body is able to rest and recharge at night. However, if you’re under chronic stress, your levels of cortisol stay elevated for an extended period of time. High levels of cortisol that continue for long periods of time can cause inflammation throughout the body, including in the mouth. This can result in gum recession, which is when your gums pull away from your teeth and create pockets where bacteria can grow undisturbed, leading to gum disease.

If periodontal disease is not treated in its early stages, it can lead to a variety of complications, such as tooth loss. In addition, recent studies have shown that people who have untreated, periodontal disease may be at a higher risk of developing heart disease.

When people are stressed, they tend to grind their teeth or clench their jaws. This can happen at night or during the day, while they’re at work or home alone. Many times, people don’t realize they’re grinding their teeth until they develop tooth sensitivity or notice other signs like worn-down enamel or cracked teeth.

Manage Your Stress

Grinding and clenching put pressure on the teeth and jaws, often leading to painful symptoms like headaches, earaches, joint discomfort, and toothaches. Over time, it can even cause permanent damage to the teeth. In order to avoid these issues, it’s important to find ways to reduce and control stress. Some ways to do that include meditation, talking to a therapist, practicing yoga, exercising regularly, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol. For people who tend to grind and clench their teeth when they’re stressed, wearing a mouth guard can help protect their teeth from damage.

TruCare Dental is equipped with the best dentists and modern technologies that enable the best dental treatments. To know more about ways to maintain oral health, call us at 972 864-0000 and schedule an appointment with the dentist to visit the practice located in Garland, TX.  


3031 South 1st St #400, Garland, TX 75041

Phone: (972) 864-0000

Fax: (972) 864-2000

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