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Can Stress Affect Oral Health?

Can Stress Affect Oral Health?

Stress is an inevitable part of our lives. However, if stress is affecting your health in a negative way, you need to look for ways to manage your stress. When your body is under stress, it releases hormones that can lead to a number of adverse effects on your health. This can even include your oral health! Some common signs of stress can include changes in appetite or sleep habits, muscle tension and headaches, feeling restless or irritable, and more. High levels of stress hormones can also negatively impact your immune system and make you more susceptible to infection.

If you’re experiencing a lot of stress in your life, it’s important to take steps to manage it. Taking steps like getting enough rest, exercising regularly, and avoiding smoking can all help you manage stress. You may also benefit from taking part in activities that help you relax. Focus on eating a healthy diet and try to avoid sugary foods and drinks that can contribute to tooth decay. You should also make regular appointments with your dentist for a cleaning and checkup to help you avoid oral health problems caused by stress.

The Effects of Stress on Oral Health

Our bodies are amazing – they naturally respond to stress by sending us signals to relax, such as increased heart rate and breathing rate. But our bodies don’t always know how to interpret these signals correctly. For example, high blood pressure can indicate fear or anxiety in your body, but the cause can be due to a physical issue like too much caffeine. Having trouble sleeping at night can also be a sign of stress caused by something in your personal life, but it can just as easily be caused by a medical disorder affecting your sleep cycle.

Luckily, your oral health is also affected by stress in a relatively predictable way: inflammation. When your stress levels are elevated, your body responds by producing the hormone cortisol. Cortisol breaks down sugars in the body to fuel your muscles and brain, but it also has inflammatory properties that trigger your immune system to release chemicals called cytokines. Cytokines are what causes redness and swelling to happen around wounds or infections, which is why you experience more swelling and discomfort when you have the flu.

The inflammatory response triggered by cortisol can also cause your gums to react. When your gums become inflamed, they become red and swollen and may even bleed easily. You may also notice your teeth becoming loose or even falling out as a result of the infection. Inflammation of the gums can also lead to periodontitis, which can destroy the bone that holds your teeth in place.

The good news is that if your dentist notices signs of gum disease, they can usually provide a treatment to help stop the inflammation and reverse any damage that’s been done—namely, professional cleanings to remove plaque from beneath the gum line and deep periodontal cleanings or root planing to scrape away and destroy the bacteria that cause the inflammation in the first place. Your dentist can also provide tips on managing your stress level at home so you can keep your mouth healthy.

Bishop Family Dental, located in Salt Lake City, UT, is equipped with excellent amenities and expert dentists who offer patients the best dental care services. Dial (801) 274-2500 and book an appointment with the dentist to learn more about dental care services and to receive a complete dental checkup.


2120 E 3900 S #102, Salt Lake City, UT 84124

Phone: (801) 274-2500

Office Hours

MON 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

TUE 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

WED 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

THU 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

FRI 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

Get in Touch

Email: info@bishopfamilydental.com

Call or Text Us: (801) 274-2500


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