The effects of stress on your body are well documented, but many do not realize its effects on the teeth, jaw, and other oral tissues. One of the consequences of tension is actually a reduced level of immune system function. See more about chronic stress and your health in this Mayo Clinic article: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037.
With regard to oral health, gingivitis and periodontitis are much more common in people with high stress levels. Tooth decay can also be an indirect consequence of stress and a reduced immune system. Stress can also cause some people to grind or clench their teeth, often occurring while the person is asleep and unaware. This can cause flat, short teeth, gum recession, and in severe cases, fractured or broken teeth.
As we come into the summer season here in the Midwest, it is a great time to be aware of the stress in your life, and take steps to manage it. Some strategies include:
-eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise & enough sleep
-practice meditation techniques and/or relaxation techniques
-foster healthy friendships
-seek professional counseling when needed
If the stress in your life has impacted your oral health, the surgeons at OMS can help. Contact us to help control or repair damage to teeth and gums, and to come up with a plan for prevention.