6 Tips for your Oral Health During Periods of Stress

Cynthia Hoy

During periods of stress, your oral health can take a back seat. But it’s important to maintain and proactively take care of your oral health so that you don’t have extra worries during a stressful phase. Read on for some tips to look after your oral health when you’re going through a difficult time.

1. Clenching and Grinding your Teeth

If you start to notice pain in your jaw or unexplained headaches, you may have started to clench or grind your teeth (also called bruxism). It can even lead to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) and sleep disorders. A nightguard or mouthguard can help keep you from wearing away the enamel on your teeth. Dr. Beeram will examine your teeth for signs of wear and can discuss with you getting a custom piece or another appliance for you. If you notice clenching or grinding during the day, you can try chewing gum to raise your awareness of the habit and prevent it from happening.

2. Biting Your Nails

Nail biting can also increase during periods of stress. The hard nail composite can lead to additional cracks and chips in your teeth. Additionally, you’re putting unnecessary stress on your jaw and teeth by using them more often than just for eating and drinking. Nail biting can lead to bruxism and wearing away tooth enamel. When you bite your nails, you’re also introducing germs into your mouth which can lead to additional problems like bacterial infections. Discuss this habit with Dr. Beeram, he can look for signs of wear and make recommendations. Trimming your nails, using something that tastes awful on them or wearing gloves or bandages may help you eliminate this habit. Try gradually reducing by not biting say your pinky finger or going just one day without biting and then increase it to two. Setting these small goals, once achieved can lead to bigger goals. Don’t give up! You can also try meditation, practicing self-care and other ways of relaxing to help curb any bad habits. 

3. Maintaining Your Oral Health Routine

Continue to brush, floss and rinse your teeth daily. Without a regular oral hygiene routine, you are more at risk of developing tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. This will cause additional pain and a trip to the dentist. 

4. What are you putting in Your Mouth?

Try to limit or be conscious of your intake of alcohol, caffeine, smoking and sweets. What you eat, drink and inhale affects your mouth and teeth. Drink plenty of water and try to limit unhealthy eating and drinking. 

5. Dental Anxiety

If you feel anxious about going to the dentist, as some people do, consider talking to Dr. Beeram about sedation dentistry. He is aware that this is a reality that some people experience and will discuss options with you. 

6. Mouth Sores

Canker sores and other mouth sores have been found to occur more often during periods of stress. Aloe Vera has been found to reduce the severity and the healing time. Apply 2% aloe vera oral gel three times a day for a period of ten days. Patients in a study started to notice a difference after four days. 

Find ways to relax and reduce stress for your general health. This can lead to better overall health, including for your oral health. If you’d like to book an appointment, contact Beach Grove Dental Tsawwassen