More and more research is coming out that is saying stress is doing a lot more damage than we think. For instance, stress increases your chances of contracting disease and sickness, heart disease and stress can make you gain weight. There is also evidence in these studies that stress is also ruining our teeth. In a hyper-modern world, there are a number of reasons why we may be stressed – work, money, romance, friendship – but most of the time, we unconsciously cope with our stress by grinding our teeth and doing other things to our teeth that can cause cavities and gum disease. Here are some examples of the impact that stress can have on our teeth.
One of the most common ways that stress impacts our teeth is through grinding. Teeth grinding is a common problem and most of the time it is brought on by stress. When it comes down to it, teeth grinding, or bruxism as it is called in the dentistry industry, affects millions of people and most of them have no idea that they are doing it. Teeth grinding can cause soreness and a slew of other dental issues, which is why it is important to visit a dental clinic, like Long Prairie Dental, to have the issue remedied.
Subsequently, teeth grinding can cause cavities. This is another way that stress can impact our teeth. Basically, when you grind your teeth, you are essentially removing important layers of enamel that is protecting your tooth from decay However, if you continually wear down your teeth, you can effectively open up the possibility for food and other germs to start the process of decay. If you are in a stressful moment in your life and noticing a rise in cavities – the two could be connected.
Next, stress can also impact your teeth tangentially. Basically, when you are going through a lot of stress, your body releases something called cortisol, which is a hormonal chemical that is used to help your body cope. However, cortisol can wreak havoc on your body and your immune system. When your immune system is weak or compromised, you will have greater occurrences of infections and disease. When it comes to your teeth, a compromised immune system could affect your gums and it can cause gum disease. If you are noticing that you have red and swollen gums, it could be that you have gingivitis or some kind of periodontal disease – and it could be caused by stress.
Lastly, stress can increase your cravings for sugar and other fattening foods. The reason for this is simple: these foods release mood stabilizing chemicals in the brain. However, by eating more and more of these foods, you will not only increase your chances of becoming obese, but you will also start to notice problems with your teeth. Dentists say that snacking on sugary meals can do the most damage, because we don’t often brush right afterwards, which can increase the chances of getting cavities. So, when you are feeling stressed out, you may want to focus on meditating and not eating junk food – your teeth and your body will be much happier.
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