We’re just beginning the month long craziness of the holiday season. Between the meal preps, travel arrangements, party planning, and everything in between, it’s only normal to feel a little more stressed than normal. It’s no secret that stress can negatively affect overall health, but the team at our Memphis dental office wants you to know it can also be bad for your oral health, too.
Your temporomandibular joint, or more commonly known as your jaw joint or TMJ, may be one of the first areas to show signs that you’re a bit too stressed. When we’re overwhelmed, some of us tend to clench our teeth together and not even know we’re doing it. But this clenching can lead to some serious jaw pain or even tooth damage. Sometimes this pain is short lived, but if you start to experience prolonged pain, clicking or popping, or a locked jaw, call your dentist in Memphis.
Most of us have experienced the unpleasantness of a canker sore. Typically canker sores are caused after we bite ourselves accidentally or another form of trauma. But according to a study by the Academy of General Dentistry, people are more susceptible to canker sores during prolonged periods of stress. These ulcer-like sores are often painful and annoying, but aren’t contagious.
There’s been a lot of research on the topic of gum disease, which is one of the more serious oral health concerns we encounter. Some of these studies show a positive link between stress and the development of gum disease. Gum disease can affect your mouth, and your entire body. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss, heart disease, and host of other health problems.
Keep Calm and Follow These Pointers
To protect your overall health and oral health this holiday season, practice active ways of easing stress and anxiety. Doing just a few small things can make a big difference including:
- Eating Well. Following a well-balanced diet even when there are so many holiday snacks readily available is key. When your body is functioning well, it may be easier to keep stress levels under control.
- Working Out. Whether you decide to go for a brisk walk, enjoy a yoga class, or take a jog, getting active releases endorphins and can lower stress.
- Limiting Alcohol. Consuming too much alcohol can put our bodies at a disadvantage. Even if you feel the stress release with the first glass of wine, drinking too much can actually have the opposite effect and spike stress.
Even if you do everything in your power to keep your stress levels low, things happen. If you feel that stress is putting your oral health at risk, we welcome you to call our dental office in Memphis. We not only will help get your mouth healthy, we’re pretty calming, too. Perhaps a visit to us is just what you need.