Stress can be harmful to us in many ways. In addition to taking a toll on emotional well being, it can impact physical health by increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease, affect sleep and memory, cause headaches, and worsen depression. Not only that, but it can impact the health of your smile!! Here’s what you need to know:
- Bruxism (teeth grinding): High levels of stress can lead you to grind your teeth at night or clench your jaw. If you think you might be doing this, talk to your dentist about getting a night guard to protect your teeth. Prolonged teeth grinding can wear down your enamel, cause tooth decay or sensitivity, and may even do permanent damage to the jaw.
- Periodontal disease: Long-term stress can weaken your immune system. When the immune system is weak, your body has a harder time fighting off bacteria, which makes you more susceptible to infections like gum disease.
- Canker sores: Although the cause of canker sores is not known for sure, one potential trigger may be stress.
If you’re stressed, it’s extra important to take care of yourself, even if it’s easier to do the opposite. Be vigilant about brushing, flossing, eating healthy foods, and drinking plenty of water, and you can minimize the negative impacts of stress.