How Stress Affects your Oral Health

How Stress Affects Your Oral Health

Did you know that stress can have a negative effect not just on your physical health but also on your oral health?

Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between our physical health and our oral health. 

There is a physiological component to stress that causes oral health issues. Stress causes our bodies to flush out protective minerals. This allows bacteria and acid to build up in our mouth leading to tooth decay and gum


Tooth decay is a common result of stress.

When we are over-stressed or depressed we tend to reach for comfort food or sugary drinks, alcohol or tobacco which can be very bad for our teeth. Not only do they not help with stress they can also lead to an increase in toxicity and inflammation in our bodies. 

We may also not care for our hygiene, therefore not brushing or flossing as much as we should.

We are less likely to go to see our dentist and hygienist regularly. Poor oral hygiene is the number one cause of tooth decay and gum disease. 

•Stress increases the amount of salivary cortisol and cavity-forming bacteria in your mouth. This causes cavities 

•If you already have gum disease, stress makes it worse.

•Stress may cause you to clench or grind your teeth

•Stress also increases the likelihood of mouth ulcers and sores

•Stress can also result in dry mouth ( reduced saliva  which can also lead to cavities)

Neglecting our oral health can and will lead to gum disease (an inflammation of the gums). 

Untreated gum disease can lead to a myriad of health issues such as heart disease, cancers and other serious health issues.

Bruxism. (grinding teeth or

clenching  your teeth)

You may not even know that you are grinding your teeth. This usually occurs while we are sleeping.  Signs of bruxism include, sore jaw, earaches, headaches worn down tooth enamel heightened sensitivity. When you are constantly grinding your teeth, you are leaving yourself open to disorders of the joint. 

This is called TMD (temporomandibular disorder) which involves the joints in the gums. TMD can cause chronic pain and clicking of the jaw if not treated. When left untreated this can have a devastating impact on your oral and physical health.

Lakeridge Dental Centre can help you protect your teeth with a custom-made night guard. 

Your dental professional must be aware of your stress level.  Your dental professional can offer treatments to alleviate the symptoms of stress on your oral health.  Seeing your dentist and hygienist regularly will allow your dental professional to monitor any dental issues and treat them accordingly. 

The dental team at Lakeridge Dental Centre would like to share some tips for dealing with stress:

•Talk to someone about how you feeling

•Talk to your family doctor 

•Exercise regularly. This is a great stress reliever.  Just a half-hour walk will make you feel better.   

•Make positive changes to your diet. Your diet has a lot to do with how you feel. 

•Avoid alcohol 

•Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once per day

•Drink plenty of water 

•Visit your dentist and hygienist regularly (maintaining good oral health will also improve your physical health. This allows you to better deal with stress )

At Lakeridge Dental Centre. We care about our patient’s oral health and physical well-being.  A clean and healthy mouth will make you feel better physically, which will help to alleviate stress. 

Call Lakeridge Dental Centre today to book your dental exam and cleaning.