Poor Oral Hygiene
Being under extreme stress may affect your mood and cause you to skip brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
If you don't take care of your mouth, your teeth and overall oral health can suffer. If you already have gum disease, skipping daily hygiene may make it worse. If your mouth is healthy, falling short on these tasks can lead to gum disease or make cavities more likely.
When you're stressed, you may also develop unhealthy eating habits, such as snacking on large amounts of sugary foods or drinks. This can put you at risk for tooth decay and other problems.
What to do: Just reminding yourself of the importance of hygiene and healthy eating may help. A regular exercise routine can relieve stress, rev up your energy levels, and encourage you to eat healthier. It may even make you more likely to tend to your mouth.
Even short-term stress can mean more dental plaque.
Long-term, the stress can boost the likelihood of bleeding gums, or gingivitis, which can progress to serious gum disease.
What to do: Remember, eating a balanced diet, seeing your dentist regularly, and good oral hygiene help keep gum disease at bay. Brush at least twice a day and floss daily. Use an antibacterial mouth rinse twice a day to also help reduce plaque-causing bacteria.
Stress can lead to depression. Learning how to handle stress can help tame the risk of gum problems getting worse.
What to do: Talk to a health care or mental health professional if you think you're becoming depressed. You want active, practical strategies to overcome or manage the challenges you face.