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Does stress influence oral health?

 Some pathologies are caused by daily stress.

Does stress influence oral health?

Stress not only impacts on physical and mental well-being but also on oral health. Living in a constant state of stress can lead to a diet based on processed foods rich in sugars, damaging both gums and teeth.

Overwork can result in fatigue and emotional upsets, affecting oral health. Work turmoil often leads to messy meals and increased consumption of sugars, impairing dental care. If this persists, oral problems can arise.

Frequent oral problems resulting from stress:

  •  Bruxism. This pathology is based on clenching and/or grinding the teeth, subjecting them to high and prolonged pressure, which can lead to tooth fracture.

  •  Gingivitis and periodontitis. Neglecting oral hygiene causes an increase in bacterial plaque that can cause this type of periodontal disease, in addition to caries.

  •  Cold sores and canker sores. The increase of cortisol, a stress-related hormone, can alter the functioning of the immune system, a factor associated with the appearance of herpes and canker sores.

  •  Dry mouth. This is one of the first responses of the body in stressful situations. The blood vessels of the salivary glands contract in stressful situations, increasing the risk of tooth decay.

  • Burning mouth syndrome. This oral pathology is characterized by a burning and tingling sensation in the mouth, with an alteration of the sense of taste. It is associated with psychological factors such as anxiety and stress.

Stress's oral and dental effects manifest themselves progressively, evident in advanced stages. Therefore, when stress or other psychological problems are suspected, seeking medical attention in person or online is vital to intervene early and reduce its influence on mental, physical, and oral health.