Does Stress Affect Oral Health?

Stress can have a negative effect on your entire body. When your body is under stress, cortisol is released to help the body deal with the situation at hand. This makes important functions like digestion and immunity take a backseat in favor of dealing with whatever is causing stress. The result is often unpleasant symptoms such as bad breath, changes in appetite or sleep habits, and even dry mouth.

How Stress Affects Oral Health

When stress becomes too much to handle, it affects more than just your mind – it also affects the health of your body and your mouth. Here’s how it can impact your smile.

  • Your teeth and gums may get more sensitive when you’re stressed, which could cause you to have an increased chance of developing gum disease or cavities. These oral issues may eventually cause tooth loss.
  • When you’re anxious or worried, you may grind your teeth more than usual. This can cause them to wear down faster, which could cause you further problems down the road.
  • The hormones that occur in your body as a result of stress can also impact your oral health. For example, they can increase your risk of dry mouth, which can make it more difficult to talk and eat normally. It can also put you at a higher risk of developing gum disease.
  • In addition to causing hormonal imbalances, stress can also lead to an increase in your blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions.
  • When you’re feeling stressed, you may be more likely to snack on unhealthy foods such as sweets and alcohol, which can lead to weight gain and poor nutrition, which in turn can put you at risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

If you’re experiencing increased levels of stress, try implementing stress management techniques into your daily life, such as exercising, meditating, or even talking to someone about what’s bothering you. You may also want to visit your dentist for an exam to ensure that your smile is healthy.

By following a few simple steps, you can help protect your oral health and improve your quality of life. Don’t neglect the oral health needs of your family! Take preventative measures by scheduling an appointment with a dentist today.

If you’ve recently experienced a life-changing event and you’re worried about how your life might be changing your oral health, talk to your dentist about what you can do to protect your smile. 

To schedule an appointment with us or to learn more oral-care tips, visit Cascade Dental Group LLC at 1296 Commercial St SE, Suite 102, Salem, OR 97302, or call us at (503) 399-0724.


1296 Commercial St SE, Suite 102, Salem, OR 97302

Office Hours

MON Closed

TUE - WED 11:00 am - 7:00 pm

THU - SAT 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

SUN Closed

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Phone: (503) 399-0724