Holiday 2020: Stress Less …. Your Teeth and Gums Will Thank You!

December 12, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — roselleparkdental @ 4:40 pm

Specially written for Roselle Park Dental & Implants by Sara Magnola Taner

As with most things this year, the 2020 holiday season is looking a little different. Despite the pandemic, there are many ways to still get into the holiday spirit, celebrate, and enjoy while staying safe:

  • Listen to your favorite holiday music
  • Prepare and enjoy yummy seasonal treats
  • Decorate your home
  • Buy gifts for your loved ones

Along with the joy and fun this time of year brings, it also creates stress. This year, navigating the COVID-19 health crisis could be causing you to worry about the health and safety of you and your loved ones, which can lead to more stress, depression and anxiety.

Did you know that there is a direct correlation between your psychological stress level and your oral health? According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, experiencing higher stress levels can cause damage to your teeth and gums and is linked to poor oral health including gum disease and tooth loss. Here are some of the ways that stress can wreak havoc in your mouth:

  1. TMJ & Bruxism: Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) are caused by clenching and grinding of the teeth. Over time, this can lead to pain as well as broken and worn down teeth.
  2. Dry Mouth: Taking certain medications to help manage depression and anxiety, as well as not consuming enough water, can lead to a decrease in the body’s ability to produce enough saliva. In the absence of the moisture needed to wash away bacteria and food particles in the mouth, it becomes a breeding ground for periodontal disease.
  3. Canker Sores & Mouth Ulcers: The development of these painful sores – also called aphthous ulcers – can be triggered by stress. They are small, shallow lesions that develop on the soft tissues in the mouth or at the base of the gums.
  4. Gum Disease: Being under extra stress can lead to increased bacteria in the mouth, and periodontal disease develops when bacteria from plaque builds up.

Stress is a normal part of life, so the key to avoiding its negative effects is to be able to manage your feelings. Establishing and maintaining good oral health habits is key! Daily brushing and flossing – along with twice yearly visits to your dentist – are the most important steps you can take to protect your teeth and gums during times of high stress. Other important ways you can help to manage stress this holiday season are to set realistic expectations, plan ahead, and seek professional support for feelings of anxiety and depression.

This holiday season, the team at Roselle Park Dental is here to help you with your stress related oral health needs! Call us today at (908) 998-4698 or visit us online to schedule an appointment today!