For Better Oral Health, Resolve for Less Stress This Year

“New Year, New Me!”

We’ve all said it before, or at least meant to say it. After that we gave our resolution the ‘good ol’ college try’ for a little while. Maybe we even kept it up into February, or March.

But after a tumultuous 2020, committing to a resolution that will focus on making our lives better and healthier will never be more important. Lessening and managing our stress is the most important thing we can do for our general well-being in the new year. The benefits will of course be many, if we do so.

We all know the obvious signs of stress on our physical and mental state; mood changes and depression, weight gain, poor sleep patterns, and being more susceptible to seasonal illnesses. But what is often forgotten, as a sign of more stress in our lives, is the toll it takes on our mouths.

Yes, oral health is often overlooked in times like these and the long-term effects can be very detrimental.

Higher stress levels can lead to teeth grinding and clenching, usually while we sleep. Ever wake up with a sore jaw or headache? Classic case of teeth grinding! Furthermore, teeth grinding (or bruxism) can lead to TMJ (temporomandibular joints) disorder, which is when you experience swelling and stiffness in your lower jaw.

Canker and cold sores have been linked to higher than normal stress also. Because stress can take its toll on your immune system, it can occasionally lead to these flare-ups.

When we are stressed, obvious parts of healthy routines start to slip too. Rushing or skipping teeth cleaning will have obvious long-term oral health impacts such as teeth decay and gum disease. And then there are dietary choices like sugary snacks and drinks high in acidity (looking at you coffee) that do a world of hurt to our mouths.

So, as January progresses and February comes around, continually remind yourself the importance of stress management.

And when your stress is better managed, so will your oral health.

Need some help with committing to a better oral health routine? Our dental team in Long Beach can help! Book your exam with us and get tips on improving your health. Give us a call at 562-434-6414 or request an appointment time here.