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April is not only Oral Cancer Awareness Month but also Stress Awareness Month! At Plantation Dental SSI, your top St. Simons and Golden Isles dentist, we prioritize not only your dental health but also your physical and mental well-being. While stress is a natural response to life and sometimes healthy and even motivating, unmanaged stress can have serious consequences on both physical and mental health, including oral health. This month, we aim to raise awareness about the effects of stress on oral health. Let’s work together to manage stress and prioritize holistic health!


The Impact of Stress on Oral Health:

  1. Poor Oral Hygiene Habits: When stressed, people may neglect their oral hygiene routines, such as brushing and flossing regularly. This can lead to an increased risk of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. 
  2. Dry Mouth: Stress can reduce saliva flow, leading to dry mouth. Saliva is essential for washing away food particles and neutralizing acids in the mouth. A dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  3. Gum Disease: As aforementioned, declining oral hygiene can lead to gum disease. Moreover, stress weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to gum disease. 
  4. Bruxism: Stress can lead to bruxism, a condition where you grind or clench your teeth, often during sleep. This can cause wear and tear on your teeth, leading to fractures, tooth sensitivity, and even tooth loss.


Tips for Managing Stress and Improving Oral Health:


  1. Practice Stress-Relief Techniques: Engage in activities that help you relax and reduce stress, such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or hobbies you enjoy. Many of these activities combine physical activity, breathing techniques, and other forms of relaxation. This allows them to alleviate stress while also improving your mood and physical fitness. 


  1. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. A healthy lifestyle can help reduce stress and improve overall health, including oral health. Of course, this list sounds like quite the challenge, similar to the new year’s resolutions most of us may write each year. However, it is important to remember that any progress you make in these areas is good. Moreover, it also impacts your dental health. 


  1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. This will allow for prevention and early detection of any potential dental concerns.


  1. Wear a Nightguard: If you grind your teeth at night due to stress, wearing a nightguard can help protect your teeth from damage. Talk to your dentist to learn more about custom made teeth night guards and other options for this challenge. 


  1. Seek Professional Help: If stress is overwhelming you and affecting your daily life, it is worth talking to a mental health professional for support and guidance. Having a conversation with an expert can truly make a difference in your daily life.  


By managing stress and taking care of your oral health, you can improve your overall well-being and reduce the risk of oral health problems associated with stress. Stay tuned as we will continue to share more toothy tips and tricks on our blog page, as well as our social media channels. Follow us @plantationdentalssi for more!