Let’s face it, we all get stressed. It’s the body’s response to our crazy, on-the-go lives. Researchers have found that when stress attacks, it often shows up in your mouth first. In fact, stress has been linked to a number of oral health issues. Grinding or clenching teeth, known as bruxism, is one of the most common ways stress manifests. It occurs for many different reasons; however, it is typically known as a coping mechanism for stress. Canker sores, dry mouth and gum disease may also be indicators of stress as well as other factors.
Steps to Avoid a Stressed-Out Smile:
Lay off the caffeine
Coffee, soda and energy drinks all have caffeine, which is a stimulant that increases your energy and anxiety levels and can result in more teeth grinding.
Work it out
A daily workout during lunch or after work can help dispel any nervous energy that you’ve built up throughout the day. Feeling a little adventurous? Try adding yoga to your workout routine.
Stick to the basics
As directed by your dentist, and reinforced by your mom, brush your teeth twice a day using a circular motion (and don’t forget your tongue), floss daily, use mouthwash and be sure to visit your dentist as often as is necessary.
While under stress, it is important to remain vigilant in your oral hygiene regimen or you’ll end up losing a lot more than your mind. So the next time you feel like your whole world has been turned upside down, just remember to take a deep breath and smile.
Sources used: An article in Women’s Day Magazine (Feb. 17, 2010) titled “A Stressed-Out Smile?” http://www.nahanniriverherbs.com/95,213