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Stress and Oral Health

Stress and oral health are more closely linked than you may have thought. We all experience stress to a degree, and we all know the toll that stress can take on our minds and bodies. But did you know that stress can have some serious consequences for your teeth and gums?

Stress and oral health are more closely linked than you may have thought. We all experience stress to a degree, and we all know the toll that stress can take on our minds and bodies. But did you know that stress can have some serious consequences for your teeth and gums?

Stress and oral health are more closely linked than you may have thought. We all experience stress to a degree, and we all know the toll that stress can take on our minds and bodies. But did you know that stress can have some serious consequences for your teeth and gums? It’s important to care for your teeth and gums not only by brushing and flossing and seeing your dentist regularly, but also by managing your stress so you can avoid the slew of oral health issues that can arise from stress left to run amok.

Teeth Grinding

One common symptom of stress is teeth clenching and grinding. Particularly common at night, sometimes individuals dealing with stress will clench their teeth together during sleep or grind back and forth. Teeth grinding, also referred to as Bruxism, can have some serious consequences if left untreated including: headaches, jaw pain, TMJ disorder, broken or chipped teeth, abnormal wear of the teeth, and even sleep disorders. Teeth grinding can be countered through the use of a nightguard which serves to protect your teeth while you sleep. Managing your stress is also imperative, to tackle the problem at its root.

Canker Sores

Although the exact cause of canker sores has yet to be determined, it is believed that they are linked to stress and anxiety. For many patients, canker sores tend to surface during times of high stress.

TMJ Disorder

Stress and anxiety have also been linked to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ. The reason for this is that stressful situations can trigger the overuse of jaw muscles and can also cause you to grind and clench your teeth. There are several treatment options for TMJ that our oral surgeons at Ocoee Oral Surgery can suggest, but symptoms also tend to diminish when a patient’s stress is adequately managed.

Stress and Oral Health

Neglecting Oral Hygiene

Sometimes severe stress can cause people to neglect their regular self-care practices, and this can include oral hygiene. Sometimes when we get extremely stressed out, we suffer from poor sleep which can make it harder to complete even the easiest of tasks like brushing and flossing. Stress can also affect our food choices, and gravitating toward less nutritious, sugary foods can also take its toll on our oral health over time.

What to do?

If you worry that stress is adversely affecting your oral health, it’s time to make a plan about how to combat the symptoms. Take time to figure out what in your life is causing your stress, and find ways to minimize the effects. You can also work with your regular dentist and our team at Ocoee Oral Surgery to identify ways you can be proactive about prioritizing your oral health through stress management and other treatments. We’re here to help.

Healthy Gums to Prevent Gum Disease & Tooth Loss

Healthy gums and good oral hygiene can help reduce your chances of needing a Chattanooga oral surgeon!

Maintaining healthy gums means you are less at risk for needing oral surgery in the future.

When you practice good oral hygiene, you are putting in good work that will reduce your chances for dental problems in the future. Preventative care is everything! We all know how important it is to practice proper teeth brushing with regularity, but all too often people neglect to take adequate care of their gums. Each individual element of your oral health relies on that of the others, working hand in hand– meaning healthy teeth require healthy gums.

When you don’t take good care of your gums, you run the risk of getting gum disease which can lead to tooth loss. When your neglected gums become sore, swollen, or even infected, this is referred to as gingivitis. When gum issues are left unaddressed, they can progress and become periodontitis– a common infection that damages the soft tissues and even the bone surrounding nearby teeth. Untreated, periodontitis will end in tooth loss, and expensive/invasive treatments from your Chattanooga oral surgeon.

When you know and understand all the risks associated with poor oral hygiene, you’ll be inspired to take brushing, flossing, and routine dental cleanings and exams more seriously. Prioritizing these things can result in greater oral healthy and oral health overall.

Healthy gums and good oral hygiene can help reduce your chances of needing a Chattanooga oral surgeon!

How to Maintain Healthy Gums:

  • Brush your teeth properly and at least twice per day! Find ADA tips on how to give this your best effort here.
  • Work with your dentist or oral surgeon to find the best toothpaste for you.
  • Floss your teeth daily.
  • Be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly when you brush and floss, and even after meals when doable.
  • Use mouthwash to help kill harmful bacteria.
  • Avoid smoking and using other tobacco products.
  • Schedule and attend regular dental cleanings and exams.
  • Work with your dentist and oral surgeon to quickly address issues that arise so they don’t result in further problems or complications.

Oral Health and Overall Health are Linked

Did you know that your mouth and oral health can offer up clues about how healthy you are overall? Furthermore, oral health problems can actually affect the rest of your body as well. Of course the mouth is brimming with bacteria of many types, most of which are not harmful, but some of which can be. As your mouth is the point of entry for both the respiratory and digestive tracts, some of these more harmful bacteria can cause illness or disease.

Studies suggest that oral bacteria and the inflammation that comes with gum disease might play a role in some diseases including endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and even pregnancy and childbirth.

If you do have oral health issues that have arisen from poor gum health, our team at Ocoee Oral can help. If you need treatment for bone or tooth loss, dental implants, or other oral surgeries, call on our expert Chattanooga oral surgeons. Contact us today. We would love to help get you back on track for great oral health and overall health as well.