Sure, all of us probably feel a little antsy and have anxious feelings ahead of any doctor appointment, regardless of how much we like them or know we need to go. In this post, we’re not going to focus on the stress going to the dentist may cause, but rather on how stress, in general, can affect you and your overall dental well-being.
Stress and Dental Health
Stress affects more than your mental health. It can cause concerns for your dental health as well. With increased stress levels affecting an even more comprehensive range of individuals, sparked largely in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, ZocDoc data found that between August 2021 and 2022:
- Cracked tooth repair appointments increased by 43%
- TMJ pain appointments increased by 33%
- Dental pain appointments increased by 32%
- And gum disease, gingivitis, and bleeding gums appointments increased by 22%
All of this is certainly keeping your local dentist quite busy. But as a patient knowing that both your mental and dental health could be suffering can keep you quite busy stressing and seeking medical care causing a vicious cycle.
The silver lining is that being informed and aware of the connection between stress and your oral health will enable you to better understand how to take care of yourself and the preventive measures that can be put in place.
How You Can Positively Impact Your Mental and Thus Your Dental Health
First and foremost if you or a loved one is struggling with mental health challenges, please contact a mental health professional or contact one of the below organizations that are just a phone call away.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- Boys Town National Hotline: 1-800-448-3000
- Teen Line: 1-310-855-HOPE (4673) or 1-800-TLC-TEEN (852-8336)
Whether or not you need to seek help from a mental health professional, we do have the ability to positively impact our daily mental health (your teeth will also thank you). Keeping or adding healthy habits to your routine can make a monumental difference.
Stress-Fighting Tips for Your Mental and Thus, Dental Health
Some stress-fighting tips from the Mayo Clinic include:
- Prioritizing tasks and removing other optional items that could be adding too much to your plate
- Spending time performing calming exercises such as yoga and tai chi and deep breathing
- Taking a step outside to enjoy nature
- Participating in an activity that you enjoy, anything from watching a comedy to going to the gym to reading a good book
- Eating a healthy diet and ensuring you are sleeping well
- Avoiding drugs and alcohol to cope
Hopefully a little less stress in your day will help minimize the negative implication on your teeth and will lead to an overall healthier and happier you.
Need a Local Dentist in Miami, Florida?
If you are suffering from any dental-related health issues whether they were induced by stress or not, the experienced team at South Gables Dental is proud to be your local dental professionals in Miami, Florida.