Drive Your Stress Away – How Stress Affects Oral Health

In today’s world, stress is inevitable. Many of us are stressed out in some or the other way, physically, emotionally, mentally and psychologically. Most of these stressors are a result of us not being able to manage our lives or lifestyles in the right way.  To put it in a better way, it is our choices related to our life that make us stressful. A good example is to want everything at its best – having the best career, having a great house, having the best car, being a great friend, spouse or parent or child, being the best professional, being able to make a lot of money, being able to go on vacations when we want. All of these wants, exert pressure on human mind and can make people restless, irritable and stressed. These days, people are not satisfied from within and so external aspects like vacations, houses and cars are the things people look for their happiness in. Stress has been the root cause of various conditions and diseases. Sometimes conditions happen only because of stress and sometimes stress acts as a complement or addition to other reasons such as bad food habits and lack of rest. Stress and conditions related to stress have become like an epidemic today. We associate health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes and even cancers to stress, but stress affects us in the most innate and basic ways.

Stress has multi-fold effects on oral health. Not only does stress affect oral health but having dental problems that originate in stress, demonstrate that we may very well could be suffering from have other conditions that are stress induced. Many adults and kids grind teeth at night due to stress, causing cracked teeth. Consuming sugary, processed and unhealthy foods and drinks is the number one reason of having cavities. People say that they’re busy and therefore need to resort to quick foods and fast foods that are highly processed. Being on the go is not bad but it can affect your health if you are stressing out because of being preoccupied continuously, not to mention the consumption of processed foods. It is true that everyone is on the go these days but no one knows where they’re going.

We’re so “busy” that instead of meeting, talking to and spending time with family and friends, we are using social media to look at their life updates. Excessive use of gadgets, unhealthy relationships, work overload, topped with overall unhealthy lifestyle choices lead to hormonal imbalance, eating disorders, overweight, medical conditions and unstable emotions. The result of this is increasing consumption of food, alcohol, smoking and even certain medications to relieve the stress temporarily. Your oral health is the first one to suffer due to this lifestyle as it makes your teeth and gums very sensitive and promotes bleeding caused because of dehydration.

Now is the time to start taking care of your physical, emotional and psychological health. We always tend to wait for the right time to start exercising, eating well and resting well until we get diagnosed with some medical problem. Medical conditions and diseases can take years to develop and they don’t just happen. Even if you retire and think you have more time, there will still be no time. Therefore, you have to make time for yourself right now. Time does not wait for anybody. A good oral health is a result of a good overall health and lifestyle, for which you must provide consistent care, maintenance and attention. Next time you feel like you don’t have time or the day is going to fast, you need to remind yourself that now is the time to take care of yourself.

Life can be overwhelming with work, deadlines, busy days, families, children, appointments, responsibilities and a lot more, but we all should take a step back, breathe and understand how to deal with our health, mind and its problems.  However, the most important thing you can do for yourself is taking out sometime for yourself in order to get the right nutrition, right exercise and lots of emotional and spiritual strength. Finally, make sure you are getting routine physical, vision and dental exams so that any issues can be caught early, and addressed.

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