How Stress Impacts Oral Health

The body may be comprised of separate parts, but all of these parts work as one unit. Your mental and spiritual well being have just as much impact on health as the physical body. Stress is dangerous to all the parts of ourselves. As it flows into the brain, the brain changes the chemicals it secretes. These chemicals then enter the blood stream and spread throughout your organs. It can especially impact your teeth and gums if proper precautions are not taken.

Unfortunately, stress is a part of life. Failure to properly manage stress will manifest, and when it does so in your mouth, the consequences can be disastrous. Depending on your previous oral health, it can even lead to gum loss and dental deterioration.
One of the most common ways in which stress finds an outlet is through teeth grinding. When caused by stress this is known as Bruxism. It may be either conscious or subconscious and it may happen during the day, at night, or some combination of the two. This is a bad habit to pick up. For people who already have a teeth grinding condition, the addition of stress can worsen the grinding into the development of TMJ. The good news is that teeth grinding is treatable and often curable. This may mean a mouth guard at night and becoming more conscious during the day.

Stress makes us more likely to develop canker sores, which are essentially mouth ulcers. Canker sores are produced by biting your cheek, jabbing your gum, and other activities which are traumatic to mouth tissue. These are all more likely to happen when a person is stressed or tense. More testing is being done to discover if canker sores are caused by stress or just increased by the presence of stress. Early tests have shown a lower rate of canker sores among college students when school was on break.

Stress links to other physical ailments and conditions as well. These include chronic dry mouth, burning mouth syndrome, gum disease, and lichen planus. The list goes well beyond the development of physical sores and bleeding. The emotional and mental sides of ourselves also feel the affects of stress.

We each have an energy field. When that energy field gets corrupted, as can happen with high levels of stress, the tense energy flows throughout the body. Remember, all things are matter. On some level, this means our thoughts are matter as well. When people are stressed, it tends to cause negative thought patterns to develop in the mind.

Not to sound cliché, but what we think becomes reality. So, if you start thinking ideas such as “I’ll never get that promotion” or “We can’t afford the house” then it challenges our very sense of self worth. When we start to feel low about our lives or ourselves, we become less likely to brush and floss everyday. This, once again leads to oral hygiene problems.

We must begin to realize that all of our vital systems are one integral part of one another. When you take care of the physical, mental, and spiritual sides of yourself, they will start to work in symbiosis and communicate to keep your body healthy. If one is out of whack, complete health can not be as readily achieved.

Copyright Dr.Jean-Jacques Edderai – 2015

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