April 6, 2021
If you’re like most individuals, 2020 and 2021 have led to much stress in your life. Because of the changes brought on by COVID-19, it’s no surprise that dentists are seeing an increase in oral health problems among people these days. From changing the way you work and how your child attends school to resorting to Zoom calls with friends and family to ensure proper social distancing, learning how to prevent stress during COVID in North Sarasota may feel hopeless. But it doesn’t have to be. A local dentist discusses how stress can do more than impact your mind and body. It can also cause harm to your oral health. Read on to find out what you can do to minimize the anxiety in your life and embrace a healthier, happier smile.
How Stress Can Target Your Smile
Only 4 months into 2021, you may be feeling as if you never left 2020 behind. Although vaccinations are up, your regular daily routine remains the same. You commute from the bed to the living room to work, and your children set up at the kitchen table for school. Between navigating your responsibilities and attempting to grasp at some level of normalcy, the stress is likely taking its toll on your physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s also probably causing problems to develop within your oral cavity, some of which may include:
- Bruxism: Also referred to as teeth grinding or clenching, this can wear down your tooth enamel and lead to chronic jaw pain.
- Poor Oral Hygiene: When stress takes precedent, you may find it unnecessary to brush, floss, and rinse daily. As a result, you can be faced with tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
- TMJ/TMD: Known as temporomandibular joint disorder, this common problem usually stems from a misaligned bite or stress and can create pain within the jaw, face, and neck.
- Sleep Apnea: Whether faced with insomnia because of the 24/7 news cycle devoted to COVID-19 or experiencing interrupted sleep because of the need to breathe, stress is a main contributor to sleep apnea.
Ways to Lower Stress Levels and Improve Your Smile
What the world is facing today is something a majority of people have never experienced before. To reduce the potential effects caused by stress, it can be helpful to keep these tips in mind:
- Maintain a normal oral hygiene routine that includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing daily.
- Incorporate healthy, nutritious foods into your diet and limit your intake of sugar and starches.
- Continue to see your dentist in North Sarasota every six months for regular checkups and cleanings.
- Make time for your family by turning off the TV and playing games, going for a walk, or engaging in a dance party while taking care of your teeth before bedtime.
By keeping these tips at the forefront of your mind, you can take better care of your oral and overall health and wellbeing as we navigate the current climate.
About the Author
Dr. Warren Hoffman is a dentist in North Sarasota who attended dental school in Baltimore, Maryland, and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He then went on to complete an externship during his senior year, providing dental services to stationed members of the United States Coast Guard in Honolulu, Hawaii. At Parkway Ridge Dental, he will work with you to establish positive oral hygiene habits at home as well as ways to minimize stress and other outside factors that can negatively impact your smile. If you are struggling to maintain better health and wellbeing, contact us at (941) 358-8830 today.