stress and oral health my mouth

Stress and Oral Health

As part of Stress Awareness month (April) 2022, MyMouth want to raise awareness of the impact of stress on oral health. Stress is an increasing issue in the current world; with increasing expectations at work, social media and much more.

How does stress affect oral health?

Stress can have many effects on oral health, both directly and indirectly. Stress can lead to teeth grinding, gum disease, dry mouth, tooth decay and general poor oral hygiene.

How does stress and anxiety cause teeth grinding?

When anxious or stressed, teeth grinding can be a common issue. Teeth grinding generally occurs when people are sleeping, but can also happen when you are awake and most are unaware they are grinding their teeth. Significant wear and tears can develop from teeth grinding, creating issues with teeth, headaches and tongue indentations.

How can stress lead to gum disease?

Studies show that when people are stressed, their immune systems weaken, in addition, when people are anxious they begin unhealthy behaviours. Cortisol is the stress hormone in the body, an increase in stress means an increase in cortisol levels – this can cause inflammation around the body, increasing the risk of developing gum disease, gingivitis and bleeding gums.

Can stress cause dry mouth?

Saliva helps to keep your mouth moist and comfortable, allowing you to chew, taste and swallow, as well as preventing germs, remineralising enamel and fighting bacteria. Increased stress levels are linked to a reduction in saliva levels resulting in more plaque build-up. This can also lead to bad breath!

Impact of stress on oral hygiene

Stress may contribute to dietary changes which can potentially increase your risk of tooth decay. It’s also common to fall out of a routine and this includes your oral health routine.

Reducing stress levels

There are many ways to reduce stress including meditation, journaling, counselling, going to the gym, reading and much more. There is lots of help around us with the internet and as soon as you feel down, anxious or stressed about something, you should try to fight this feeling right away.

It is important to maintain oral hygiene, especially during this period. Be sure to continue to brush twice a day, floss and use a JiBee tongue cleaner to maintain oral health.

Check out MyMouth’s eco-friendly oral health products here and use code “STRESSAWARENESS10” at checkout for 10% off!

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