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How Stress May Affect Your Oral Health

Posted by DR. HAHN on Apr 16 2020, 03:32 AM

Stressed individuals tend to neglect their oral health. They neglect to brush and floss, miss their regular dental checkups, and consume foods that are bad for their mouth.

What Causes Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. This often stems from past experiences with the dentist, which may have involved pain in some way, such as from an infection that was treated or a cavity that required treatment, for example. Some people also dislike the sounds associated with dentistry, such as the drill or the suction tool. If they’re feeling uncomfortable for any reason, it can make them anxious and afraid to return to their dentist for a follow-up appointment or routine care.

The Biological Effects of Stress on Your Body

Researchers are still learning exactly how stress affects the body, but it’s clear that it does have a serious impact on your health. When you’re under stress, your body releases a cocktail of hormones and chemicals designed to help you react quickly to a threat. These hormones raise your heart rate, increase blood flow to your muscles, and lower your immune system functioning. All of these biological effects can have a negative impact on your oral health.

For instance, when your heart rate increases, so do the amount of acid you swallow. That acidic saliva can cause your teeth to erode or decay faster than usual. Additionally, it may cause painful canker sores in your mouth. And by suppressing your immune system, you may also experience more colds, sore throats, or other infections that can make you more susceptible to gum disease.

Since everyone has unique reactions to stress, it’s important to monitor your own oral health when you’re feeling stressed out. If you notice any changes in your dental health, talk to our dentist in Federal Way about it as soon as possible. That way, you can get the support you need to start taking better care of your smile.

How Can Stress Affect Your Teeth and Gums?

Increased hormone levels, such as cortisol, during stressful times, can lead to increased bleeding in your gums. This can also lead to inflammation. This can lead to periodontal conditions like gingivitis and periodontitis. These can cause gum recession, which can result in tooth sensitivity. You may notice that you are more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures or sweets after a stressful event. You may also notice that you bleed more when you brush or floss normally. In these cases, our dentist in Federal Way can help restore your mouth to a healthy state.

At your next appointment, talk to our dentist in Federal Way about the stress in your life and how they may be able to help you get better oral health.

For more information about how stress and your oral health are connected, schedule a consultation with a dentist today! Contact the dentist in Federal Way, WA, at Marine Hills Dentistry by calling (253) 839-2800 or visiting us at 1500 S Dash Point Rd, Federal Way, WA, 98003.

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