Consultant Specialist Orthodontist with over 25 years' experience

Eight ways stress influences your oral health: insights from an orthodontist

Eight ways stress influences your oral health: insights from an orthodontist

Every day in our dental practice, we witness the significant influence that stress can have on oral health. Our orthodontist Marylebone is not only concerned with aligning teeth and jaws but is also deeply committed to the overall well-being of our patients. Recognising the close relationship between stress and oral health is vital to our practice as it enables us to provide comprehensive, holistic care.

Stress is pervasive, and everyone experiences it to varying degrees. Its impact on the body is wide-ranging, affecting everything from our cardiovascular system to our mental health, and yes, even our oral health. It is imperative to understand this relationship to maintain optimal oral health, especially in these modern times where stress seems to be a constant companion.

The impacts of stress on oral health

Gum disease: Stress can lead to a weakened immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections. This can pave the way for periodontal (gum) diseases. Regular check-ups and cleaning are crucial in maintaining the health of your gums.

Teeth grinding and jaw issues: Stress often manifests physically as bruxism - grinding or clenching of the teeth, often during sleep. This can lead to a range of issues, including tooth damage, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), and even changes in facial appearance. Orthodontists are skilled in diagnosing and managing these issues with the appropriate interventions, which may include a custom mouthguard or orthodontic treatment.

Canker sores and cold sores: These painful sores inside the mouth or on the lips are often stress-induced. While they generally clear up on their own, persistent sores need professional attention.

Dry mouth: Stress and certain medications used to manage stress can cause dry mouth, a condition that can lead to tooth decay and other oral health problems. Hydration and specialised mouthwashes can alleviate this issue.

Role of orthodontists in managing stress-induced oral problems

The role of our orthodontist Marylebone is not just limited to straightening teeth. We play a significant part in the overall oral health management of our patients. The first step in our approach is to understand the signs of stress-induced oral health problems and then offer appropriate treatments.

Whether it's managing teeth grinding through the use of specially designed appliances or recommending self-care strategies to help cope with stress, we strive to support our patients in every possible way. We believe in promoting an integrated approach to oral health, where psychological stress management strategies form an integral part of overall oral health care.

Maintaining oral health amid stress

Maintaining good oral health in the face of stress involves a combination of professional dental care and personal oral hygiene practices. Regular dental check-ups, a balanced diet, adequate hydration, and good oral hygiene practices are crucial. Mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga can also help manage stress levels and, in turn, contribute to better oral health.

Remember, your oral health is a significant component of your overall wellness. Our orthodontist Marylebone is here to support you through your journey towards achieving and maintaining a healthy smile. If you suspect stress is taking a toll on your oral health, don't hesitate to reach out. You're not alone, and together, we can develop an action plan to tackle these stress-related oral health issues. After all, your health is our priority, and your smile is our reward.