Last month, we looked at three ways stress can harm your oral health. We saw that stress can cause you to grind your teeth at night, which can weaken your enamel and cause other damage. We also saw that stress can cause smokers to crave nicotine. Finally, we saw that stress can cause you to chew on your fingernails or pencils, which can eventually damage your teeth.
In this month’s blog post, we’re going to discuss three more ways stress can harm your oral health. As before, we’ll also provide tips on how to protect your gums and teeth when you’re under stress.
1. Stress can cause you to eat unhealthily
After a stressful day, there’s no better feeling than putting your feet up and zoning out in front of the television, preferably with a pizza or a tub of ice cream, or both. Eating a healthy meal, like a salad, is probably the last thing on our minds at this point.
It’s very common to turn to comfort foods when we’re stressed. These foods include chocolate and ice cream. The problem is that comfort foods are often very high in sugar, and, as we all know, sugar causes cavities.
What should we do then? The answer is to try to eat a bit more healthfully. It’s not just your teeth that benefit from a healthy diet – it’s also been shown that a good diet can lead to an improved mental state as well. In other words, eating healthily can help you cope with stress.
2. Stress can make you forget to brush your teeth
When you are under a lot of stress, taking care of your teeth might be the last thing on your mind. You might be thinking about the big project at work, or an important exam coming up – anything but brushing your teeth. For this reason, many people under stress forget the need to brush their teeth twice a day.
What’s more, stress can affect your mood as well, making you feel depressed and even hopeless. When you feel like this, you might no longer see the point of brushing your teeth every day.
So what should you do? As well as seeking professional help, you should also make sure to keep brushing your teeth every day, no matter how low you feel. It’s important to take care of yourself. Also, if you neglect your dental hygiene routine now, then a cavity might be the result later.
3. Stress can cause mouth sores
No-one knows why, but stress can cause sores to appear in your mouth. These sores are small yellow or white spots with a red ring around them. You might have also heard them being referred to as canker sores.
Unlike the other problems we’ve talked about so far, canker sores are usually harmless. They go away on their own after a few days. However, if your canker sore persists for more than two weeks, then it’s best to get it checked out by a health professional.
As we’ve seen, stress can affect your oral health in many ways. It can make you forget to brush your teeth twice a day. It can also make you crave sugary foods, which can cause cavities.
If you’re feeling stressed, please make an appointment with a dentist to get your teeth and gums checked out. The chances are your oral health is fine, but it’s best to get them looked at just in case.