What Link Do Stress And Oral Health Have?


Stress is a mental, emotional, or physical strain that triggers a fight-or-flight response in the body. When people feel stressed, chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol are released into the bloodstream. These hormones prepare the body for an emergency by elevating heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. While not harmful in small doses, these hormones can cause damage in larger amounts. Long-term exposure to stress hormones can lead to serious health problems such as stroke, heart attack, and diabetes. Excessive levels of the hormone cortisol can even shrink the brain’s memory centers over time, leaving people feeling mentally foggy and less able to concentrate and remember things.

The mouth can also be affected by ongoing, chronic stress. Because chewing and biting are natural responses to stress, people often bite down hard on something that isn’t food when under duress. This habit can chip teeth or cause temporomandibular joint disorder, also called TMJ. People with TMJ experience chronic jaw pain, tenderness in the facial muscles, difficulty chewing, and a clicking sound that occurs when they open their mouths. 

When people are stressed, they can experience a number of symptoms because of the hormone fluctuations that stress causes in the body. While some people may assume these symptoms are related to the digestive system or other major organ systems, the oral cavity can also be affected when the body is stressed out. For example, people who are feeling pressure from work or familial obligations may experience dry mouth or jaw pain as a result.

Manage Stress

Many people don’t realize that there’s a link between the mind and body, especially when it comes to dental health. Seeing a dentist regularly for preventive care and treating any dental issues right away helps keep your mouth healthy, but did you know that it can also improve your mental health? Getting treatment for gum disease or an infected tooth reduces your stress levels, which can help with your overall oral health. One study revealed that people who visited the dentist had lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. There are also studies that indicate a link between improved self-esteem and better oral health.lin

Since stress is so common in our lives, it’s important to find ways to manage it and reduce its damaging effects. Regular exercise boosts endorphins – chemicals in the brain that can block the effects of stress-causing hormones like cortisol and improve mood – while a healthy diet full of whole foods can boost energy and keep stress levels in check. Getting enough sleep is also essential for successful stress management; without rest, we are more likely to feel irritable, anxious, and depressed. 

Do you have a question? Or do you wish to schedule an appointment with us? Call Dawson Modern Dentistry at (704) 565-9512 or visit Dentist in Matthews, NC, at 3555-2 Matthews-Mint Hill Rd, Matthews, NC 28105.

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A root canal treatment has a 95% success rate of restoring the health of an infected tooth. However, a simple mistake like smoking can undo all of the time and money spent on repairing your tooth. Read on in this blog from Dawson Modern Dentistry to find out why smoking is not a good idea after a root canal and how to avoid it. How Smoking Negatively Impacts Healing There are several reasons why smoking after receiving a root canal is a bad idea. For one, smoking is generally unhealthy for you and can cause lung cancer. In terms of your oral health, it increases your likelihood of needing another root canal and developing gum disease.  Smoking increases inflammation which prolongs the healing process. While smoking negatively impacts your oral health in general, you are especially vulnerable when you are recovering from an invasive procedure like a root canal.  Because cigarettes and tobacco products contain toxic chemicals, this can cause complications with the tissues inside of your mouth and lead to infection. This is the last thing you want after spending money and investing time in treating your tooth with a root canal. If the root canal procedure fails, you may be able to do retreatment, but you could end up needing an extraction. When Is It Safe To Smoke After A Root Canal? Ultimately, we recommend that you quit smoking altogether, as there are no tobacco products on the market that are approved by the ADA and they are deemed very detrimental to your oral and overall health.  However, the first three days after the root canal procedure are the most crucial to your recovery. After the third day, you can start to return to your normal activities, including smoking. During the first three days of your recovery, you should strictly follow aftercare instructions like avoiding all forms of suction, including drinking through straws or smoking. How To Stop Smoking We know it can be difficult to quit smoking cold turkey due to the addictive effects of nicotine. However, these tips can help you abstain from smoking for a few days when it is most crucial for your mouth’s healing: * Replace smoking with other activities like exercise, meditation, or yoga * Avoid triggers that make you want to smoke * Look for support from friends and family * Remind yourself why you’re quitting * Reward yourself with the money you’ve saved HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT ROOT CANAL AFTERCARE? CONTACT US AT DAWSON MODERN DENTISTRY It’s so important that you follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions after root canal treatment. If you don’t, then the root canal could have been for nothing. Your tooth can become infected and this may result in the loss of the tooth, which will end up needing to be replaced. Contact us at Dawson Modern Dentistry today to schedule a root canal consultation with Dr. Ashley Dawson-Sutton.

How Do Clear Aligners Straighten Teeth?
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