How Does Holiday Stress Impact Your Oral Health?

How Does Holiday Stress Impact Your Oral Health?

Holiday season begins the hustle and bustle as plans for gifts, decorations, parties, etc. consume people’s already busy schedules. The added run-around causes increased stress levels for many people. We’re supposed to be enjoying the holidays with friends and loved ones. Stress is the last thing that we want standing in the way of this joy. Stress affects our overall health as well as our oral health!

Grinding & Tooth Clenching

Stress causes us to clench our teeth together subconsciously. It may also cause tooth grinding. Repeated clenching or grinding damages both the teeth and the jaw joint and causes fractured and damaged teeth. It may lead to TMJ disorder if left untreated. TMJ disorder is a long-term condition that causes clicking and locking of the jaw joint.

Eating the Wrong Foods

Eggnog, fruitcake, hot cocoa, and other seasonal favorites are a part of many holiday celebrations. Sadly, these favorite drinks damage the teeth. Drinks high in acid content, sugar, and even alcohol damage the teeth. Brush and floss after consuming these items, but remember that moderation is essential.

Gum Disease

Oral hygiene is often the leading cause of gum disease and the most talked-about issue. New research suggests a link between gum disease and stress. Gum disease may lead to tooth loss but impacts your overall health as well. Untreated gum disease may cause complications such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Find Ways to Relax This Holiday Season

The holidays are about family, friends, and togetherness. You want the gatherings and parties to go off without a hitch, but remember what the season is all about. Work to cut stress and focus on the reason for the season.

Try these tips to keep stress under control during the holidays:

  • Breath: Take a few deep breaths when feeling overwhelmed to lower stress levels. Scientific research supports the benefits of deep breathing techniques as a stress reliever.
  • Work Out: Exercise keeps us mentally and physically healthy. Stay in shape and reduce stress by hitting the gm in between those mall visits and holiday parties.
  • Get More Rest: The National Sleep Association says all adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Sadly, 35% of Americans get less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep each night, according to a study by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Aim to sleep more. You’ll feel invigorated and refreshed when you get enough sleep each night.
  • Dental Appointments: It’s a busy time of the year, but never too busy to go to the dentist. The American Dental Association recommends two dental visits each year. Don’t let the holidays prevent you from getting those important dental exams.

From all your dental family, we wish you and your family a happy holiday season filled with beautiful, bright, healthy smiles.

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