April is Stress Awareness Month. It’s a good time to remind you that stress doesn’t just affect you mentally. It affects your body too – and that includes your mouth. Awareness is the first step in preventing negative effects. But we’re sharing some specific ways to stop stress from hurting your smile.
If you have questions or need to make an appointment, give us a call at 704-285-0846 to visit our Charlotte, NC office. In the meantime, check out our tips:
- Don’t Neglect Oral Hygiene – Stress can cause your self-care routines to suffer. That may include daily brushing and flossing. Still, it’s important to keep up with oral hygiene. If not, you may develop cavities and other issues. Left untreated, those issues can turn into more serious – and stressful – problems like a dental infection and even tooth loss. Make sure you continue to brush and floss. If you’ve been neglecting those practices, it’s a good idea to schedule a cleaning and exam. We’ll get your mouth back into shape!
- Stay on Top of Gum Health – Stress affects your body’s ability to fight off infection and disease, including gum disease. Unfortunately infected gums can not only cause you to lose teeth and bone, they can provide a way for bacteria to get into your bloodstream. This can lead to more widespread health concerns. If you notice any signs of disease like tender or bleeding gums, see us right away. Treating gum disease in its early stages keeps it from reaching this harmful stage.
- Get a Mouthguard for Teeth Grinding – Many people have a stress-related habit they may not even know about because it happens while they sleep. If you wake up with a sore jaw or headaches, you may be grinding your teeth at night. This can lead to TMJ problems or to dental damage like chipped and cracked teeth. We can fit you for a custom-made mouthguard that will stop the grinding.
- Stay Hydrated – Stress also often causes dry mouth. This is a problem, since a lack of saliva leads to more bacteria in your mouth. And bacteria make you more susceptible to many dental problems, including cavities and gum disease. Make an effort to drink more water. You can also chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free mints to spur saliva production. Pick products with xylitol, which has cavity-fighting properties.
- Use Stress Reduction Strategies – Finally, it’s important to develop some strategies to deal with the root causes of your stress. This will improve your dental health and your overall health too. This short video offers some simple but effective ideas for dealing with stress.