Stress is a normal part of life. However, too much stress can negatively impact our physical and mental health. There is no shortage of stressors in modern American life; we worry about our jobs, family commitments, relationships, and more, leading to a constant state of mental tension that can impact our physical health. Some types of stress are short-lived, for example, when you make a major presentation or are stuck in traffic when you need to be somewhere on time. These situations do not require any long-term changes in your life and are relatively short-term. However, other types of stress are more extreme and may require some lifestyle adjustments to relieve your anxiety.
Chronic stress happens when the body is unable to adapt to stress over time, causing the brain to change the way it processes information. This can cause you to feel even more stressed and anxious than before, making you feel out of control or overwhelmed. The best way to deal with chronic feelings of stress is to identify the cause and address it directly, whether that’s through counseling, meditation, medication, or another form of treatment.
Similarly, mental stress and anxiety can also affect your dental health. Dental professionals have noticed that patients under high stress often experience more cavities than patients with lower stress levels. This is because stress can change the way your body’s immune system functions and, as a result, may cause you to get sick more often. As a result, you may develop greater plaque on your teeth, which can make it easier for bacteria to thrive and produce acid that can break down your tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay. With proper treatments like fluoride applications and dental sealants, you can avoid these oral health concerns.
Teeth grinding is a common response to stress. This is because teeth grinding is typically associated with anxiety. This is why people often wake up with a sore jaw when they have been dealing with a lot of stress throughout the day. When some are overly stressed out, they may find themselves having difficulty falling asleep at night. This can make it difficult for the body to get the rest it needs to stay healthy. Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can cause oral health issues such as gum disease, tooth loss, cavities, etc.
If you’re experiencing signs of chronic stress such as headaches, difficulty sleeping, or irritability, talk with your dentist about other ways to maintain your oral hygiene at home as well as how to improve your emotional health.
To find out more about the dental services offered at Arlington Family Dental Care, call (817) 274-8439 or schedule a consultation online. You can also visit a Dentist in Arlington, TX, at 2621 Matlock Road, Suite 103, Arlington, TX 76015.