Did you know that your mood can have an effect on your mouth? It’s true. If you are feeling stressed or anxious, your smile can suffer as a result. From the direct effects on your teeth to secondary outcomes of stress, your teeth and soft oral tissues can be affected.
To protect your smile from the consequences of stress, you should collaborate with your dentist to develop a plan to treat any dental issues, along with taking steps to better manage that stress.
How Stress Can Impact Your Smile
Excess stress can manifest in many different aspects of our lives, including causing dental problems. For example, stress can cause direct damage to your teeth if you are clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. This bruxism can also contribute to muscular pain in the jaw.
Additionally, when we are stressed, our body has higher levels of cortisol, which contributes to inflammation. Periodontal disease results from inflammation in the gum tissue, and stress can exacerbate this effect.
Protecting Your Oral Health From Stress
The effort to protect your smile from stress is multi-dimensional. You should work with your dentist to make sure that any symptoms that develop are treated effectively. Your comprehensive treatment plan may include a variety of recommendations that promote good dental habits and address stress.
These are just a few suggestions that can help you reduce the damage of stress on your smile:
- Practice good oral hygiene habits
- See your dentist at least twice a year for checkups
- Wear a custom-designed mouthguard, if recommended
- Eat a healthy diet
- Practice stress management techniques like yoga or meditation
- See a therapist
Keep in mind that different people respond to different stress management techniques. If the first one you try doesn’t seem to have the desired effect, give a different one a chance.
Your entire body can be affected by stress, including your smile. If you have noticed damage to your smile that may be a consequence of stress, schedule an evaluation with our team at Howl Dental to explore your treatment options.