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14Sep2012

What Does Stress Have To Do With Your Child’s Teeth?

ANYONE WITH A CHILD KNOWS THAT PARENTING can be a stressful job. But don’t think that you have the market cornered on stress. Your children can actually be taking on a lot of strain and worry—and at least 50% of kids say that they’re affected when their parents are stressed out.

So what does this have to do with your teeth and/or your children’s teeth? You’ve probably never thought about it, but when you’re stressed out, our team might be able to tell by the signs in your mouth. Stress can have a huge effect on your oral health.

  1. Your Mouth Can Reflect How You Feel: Stress can manifest itself in physical irritations that include canker sores, dry mouth, or burning mouth.
  2. When Stressed, Your Defenses Are Down: Stress can compromise your immune system, which could make it easier for decay-causing bacteria in your mouth to wreak havoc.
  3. Stress Contributes To Teeth Grinding: Many people grind their teeth and don’t even realize it. The tension you feel during the day can manifest itself through grinding at night—severely damaging your teeth.
  4. Your Sound Oral Health Routines May Slip: While people’s minds are consumed with all their other important “stuff”, some put their oral health on the back burner. That could end up becoming a double whammy when compromised oral health creates even more stress in their lives.

A Remedy That Can Help

Here’s the irony—stress makes you less apt to smile, when in fact smiling can actually help you diminish stress! A study by psychologists at the University of Kansas showed that even a forced smile in stressful situations can lower heart rates. And a genuine smile? Even more powerful. Smiles also release serotonin and endorphins, which are major mood-boosters and stress-busters.

Don’t Let Oral Health Problems Add To Your Stress

Here at our practice, we try to help minimize your stress. If you or your child experiences anxiety over regular dental visits, a postponed treatment, or perhaps a toothache that you’re worried about having us look at, ask us about ways we can help you. We’re here to help keep the power of your smile in full force! Remember that a clean, healthy mouth can contribute to your total body health. And a healthy body helps us deal with the trials that life throws at each of us—and at our kids.

Thoughts on this subject? You can leave a comment below or post a comment or direct message on our Facebook wall. We’ll get back to you about it right away.

Thanks for being our valued friend and patient!

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