20 Little Ryrie Street Geelong, Victoria 3220
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Stress Down Day at Dentalspa

Stress can place a lot of strain on all areas of our lives. But have you considered what it could mean for your oral health?

During periods of stress, the body’s immune system is compromised, which means it cannot work as effectively to fight off infections. This leaves you more prone to getting run down and sick, which can cause lead to experiencing:

  • Cold sores or oral thrush are more likely to occur, while self-limiting they can become quiet painful and be aesthetically unpleasing. They always occur before a big exam or a special event don’t they?
  • Bruxism or clenching and grinding behaviours increase in stressful periods which can lead to tooth wear, muscle tenderness, Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ) discomfort and morning headaches. We recommend all patients who are clenching/grinding to have a special mouth guard, known as a splint to prevent further wear to the tooth structures and relieve pressure on the facial muscles and TMJ.
  • Gingivitis and gum infections are common. Increased bleeding with brushing and flossing can be noticed.
  • Dry Mouth – this can be related to hormone changes during the stress process and also medications which can be used to help with stress symptoms – such as anti-depressant or anti-hypertensive medications or cold and flu medication which are often needed when you get hit with the dreaded cold or flu, again, due to a compromised immune system.

Poor behaviours and habits are also common during stressful periods, while often seen as an easier option; it can cause serious complications for your dental health.

  • Oral hygiene routine are often interrupted and neglected while under stress, with people too busy to remember to or lack the motivation to brush and/or floss effectively. This in conjunction with reduced immunity can lead to gum inflammation or infections and dental decay.
  • Diet changes occur, with most turning towards convenient and comfort foods and drinks, which tend to be high sugar, highly processed foods and drinks which can increase risk for dental decay.
  • Alcohol and smoking are often used to help in managing stress and increase in consumption.

Strategies to help you manage your stress:

  • Maintain gum health by brushing and flossing regularly;
  • Visit your dental professional regularly;
  • Eat healthy, balanced meals- processed, high sugar foods and drinks can make you feel worse and doesn’t provide you with the nutrients your body really craves. Fresh fruits and vegetables and mineral rich foods will help support your immune system;
  • Exercise regularly – exercise releases feel good hormones to help lift your mood and reduce the risk of depression. It also gives you an outlet to release any anger or frustrations you may be feeling in certain aspects of your life and be therapeutic;
  • Take time out for you to do the things that you enjoy – hobbies, go out with friends, sleep in, take meditation or yoga classes or watch a movie! All work and no play is not supportive of a stress-free lifestyle;
  • Get plenty to sleep, your body will thank you and you will be more alert and fresh to tackle the stresses that come with a new day; and
  • Talk to someone about your problems and causes of stress – a problem shared, is a problem halved. If you feel you cannot speak with someone, why not call lifeline or Beyond Blue or speak with your G.P.

For any other preventative or general dental treatments at Dentalspa, a Geelong dentist committed to providing the best dental care for everyone, please contact us.

We are Medibank Members Choice and Bupa Members First preferred suppliers, have HICAPs and accept all health funds, major credit cards cash and cheques.

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