New studies today are giving us more information in regards to emotional health having effects on your physical health.? According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), emotional anxiety can cause or worsen dental health issues.
“There’s definitely a link between stress and dental health,” says AGD spokesperson Nick Russo, DDS. “Stress affects the immune system, which fights against the bacteria that causes periodontal disease, making a person more prone to gum infection.”
It has been known for a while now that stress is linked to heart health.? However new research at the State University of New York at Buffalo, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Michigan shows the effects of stress on dental health. More than 1,400 volunteers, ages 25 to 74, were studied to see how stress and coping abilities affect the risk for periodontal (gum) disease, which causes oral infection, inflamed and bleeding gums, and loss of bone.
What this study found was that excessive stress can affect the health of your entire body, including your mouth, teeth, and gums.
The potential impact includes:
-Mouth sores (such as canker sores and cold sores)
-Clenching or grinding your teeth
-Poor oral hygiene through home care
-Consuming an unhealthy diet
-Gum (periodontal) disease or worsening of existing periodontal disease
Further research showed that those who struggled emotionally with financial trouble were at the greatest risk for periodontal disease and other oral health issues.? Despite financial stress having such a negative effect on your health there are ways to remedy the physical effects.? Working with your doctor and/or dentist you should be able to treat mouth sores with an antiviral medication.? Clenching and grinding can usually be resolved with an Occlusal Guard from your dentist.? When you are stressed you can often skip home care that would be crucial in preventing or repairing oral health issues (especially gum disease), stress can also lead you to eat an unhealthy diet that can cause even more health issues.? Staying focused on keeping your oral health on track will help with your overall health as well.? More stress usually means more dental plaque, which can boost the likelihood of bleeding gums, or gingivitis, which can progress into serious gum disease.
Especially when living in a large city like Boston we often find ourselves faced with daily stress, especially financial stress.? Even though stress has now been linked to health issues, working with an educated dentist can help reduce the effects stress can have on your oral health.? If you find this is something you may be dealing with please setup an appointment with us today!