Recent studies are showing a link between stress and gum disease. It is not yet known how this happens, but many believe stress limits the ability of the immune system to function fully and control the gum disease bacteria. There is also evidence that patients who are stressed develop more plaque than the average person.
Another concern is that people who have a lot of stress in their lives tend to clench or grind their teeth, especially at night. This can lead to extensive tooth damage as well as sensitivity. In severe cases teeth can even be lost.
From what we see, most people have a lot of stress in their lives. Here are a few tips that we hope will help you get yours under control.
Make a Choice – in stressful situations you generally have three options – avoid it, accept it, or change it. Understanding your choices and moving forward with one of them will help put you back in control.
Learn to Say No – a lot of stress is caused by having too many things to do. You will feel less stressed when you say yes to the priorities and filter out the things that are not that important.
Adopt a Stress Reducing Habit – exercise, yoga, meditation, relaxation exercises, and even listening to calming music at the end of the day are all great ways to release stressful tension and relax.
It is also important to talk to your dentist. If you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, especially at night, you may be a candidate for a nightguard appliance that will protect them from extra wear and tear. Your dentist can also support you in preventing or treating gum disease, the primary cause of adult tooth loss.
Stress is dangerous for your health and your teeth and we hope that you take it seriously. If you have any concerns about the impact it is having on your oral health or are looking for a new dentist, give us a call.
Ron Smith DDS (865) 922-1613
We promise to take great care of you!