Did you know that stress can affect your teeth? There are many triggers that can cause children and teens to become stressed. Everything from school to a job or even friendships can cause stress from time to time. Of course, we know that stress is draining emotionally, but most people are not aware that stress can lead to oral health problems! Be aware of the risks that stress poses to your oral health.
So, how does stress relate to oral health anyway? The first reason is simply the physical strain that stress puts on the mind and body. When a person is stressed, they can become tired and can easily fall out of their usual routines. It is important not to forget to care for your braces properly. Even if you are tired or busy, it is crucial to continue to care for your teeth.
The second link between stress and oral health is the comfort food reaction. Often when people are stressed, they look to sweet, sugary junk foods to comfort them. Look for substitutes such as sweet fruits to replace snacks like cookies. Finally, studies have been conducted that show a direct correlation within the body between stress and increased amount of salivary cortisols and cavity-forming bacteria in the mouth. This means that you must be extra conscious of your oral care routines during times of stress.
Stress may also contribute to habits such as nail biting and thumb or finger sucking, and to clenching or grinding the teeth at night. Dr. Chou in Toronto cautions that such behaviour can cause damage to braces and can make the teeth more loose and sore than they would otherwise be. Sometimes, special orthodontic appliances are needed to control the habits, and night guards are needed to protect the teeth at night.
Now that you are aware of the potential risks stress poses to oral heath, the team at Dr. Chou’s office hopes you will understand that it is important to keep up on your oral health routine and to inform us if you are aware of nervous habits or grinding your teeth.
Call Dr. Chou in downtown Toronto at 416-532-3041 for more information or to make an appointment.