Oral & Vision Health Blog

4 Ways Your Mental Health Can Affect Your Oral Health

When was the last time you stopped what you were doing, took a deep breath, and checked in with yourself? Mental health is such an important aspect of our lives and it’s important to understand its effects – including how it can impact your oral health. This is even more important during COVID-19, with current events making it even harder to take a minute for yourself. Stress caused by anxiety, depression, and other illnesses can lead to poor oral health. Here are some dental issues you may experience if you do not take proper care of your mental health.

Painful Mouth Sores

As your body tries to combat stress, a painful mouth sore may appear. These sores can come in the form of a canker sore, fever blister, or a mouth ulcer. They are treatable with prescriptions and home remedies, but the most important solutions are rest and self-care.

Teeth Grinding

Did you know that up to 40 million people grind their teeth and many don’t even know it? Teeth grinding (or bruxism) is a common unconscious reaction or coping mechanism for dealing with stress. You may unconsciously clench your teeth together during the day, or clench or grind them at night (sleep bruxism). Bruxism can cause headaches, jaw soreness,  muscle pain, and lead to more serious issues like TMJ or even fractured teeth. Here are a few ways you can try to curb the habit.

Periodontal Disease

If your gums are swollen, bleeding, or inflamed when you brush your teeth, you might be developing gingivitis or more serious periodontal disease. Over time, it can lead to the loss of gum tissue and tooth decay. It’s important to schedule cleanings with your dentist, floss, and brush your teeth twice a day to help you achieve a healthy smile.

Other Health Conditions

When you have issues with your mouth, it isn’t the only thing that suffers – your overall health does too. Some health conditions that are affected by poor oral health are heart disease, diabetes, respiratory issues and inflammation. So, make sure to take care of your mind and your mouth.

When you are feeling tense and stressed, here are a few things you can do to alleviate your stress and promote your mental, oral, and overall health.

  • Take a walk to get some sun and fresh air
  • Exercise by going on a run or doing yoga
  • Meditate and think positive thoughts
  • Engage with your family and friends
  • Partake in your favorite hobby
  • Watch your favorite movie or TV show
  • Clean and declutter your space

Not only does your mental health affect you and your well-being but it also affects those around you. It’s not always easy, but it’s important to take time for yourself and the self-care you need. Being in a positive mental state can drastically help your oral health and your overall health. If you’re looking for a fun activity to destress with family and friends, download our free cookbook! Feel like a master chef in your kitchen with these recipes that are delicious and great for your oral and vision health!