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Navigating stress and oral health: a comprehensive guide

Did you know that stress can have a profound impact on our oral health too? Stress is an inevitable part of life, but understanding its effects on our mouths, teeth, and gums is essential for maintaining a healthy smile. 

April is Stress Awareness Month, and we’ll be delving into everything you need to know about stress and its implications for your oral health.

The links between stress and your oral health

Stress can manifest in various ways, from tension headaches to digestive issues. However, its effects on oral health are often overlooked. Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off infections, including those that affect the gums. 

Additionally, stress-related behaviours such as teeth grinding (bruxism) and poor oral hygiene habits can exacerbate existing dental issues or contribute to the development of new ones.


One of the most common manifestations of stress is bruxism, a condition characterised by the involuntary grinding or clenching of teeth. Bruxism often occurs during sleep, making it difficult to detect without the help of a dentist. 

Over time, bruxism can lead to worn enamel, jaw pain, and even cracked or fractured teeth. If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth due to stress, it's essential to seek guidance from a dentist in Fulham, like us at New Smile Fulham, who can provide personalised treatment and preventive measures.

Gum disease

Stress weakens the body's ability to fight off infections, increasing the risk of gum disease. Gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, often presents as swollen, tender gums that bleed during brushing or flossing. 

If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that can lead to gum recession, tooth loss, and other complications. Regular check-ups with your Fulham dentist are crucial for the early detection and effective management of gum disease.

Oral hygiene habits under pressure

During periods of high stress, maintaining proper oral hygiene can become challenging. Stress may lead to neglect of daily brushing and flossing routines, increasing the risk of plaque buildup, cavities, and other dental issues. 

Additionally, stress-related behaviours such as tobacco use and excessive consumption of sugary or acidic foods and beverages can further compromise oral health. Our team at New Smile Fulham dental practice emphasises the importance of prioritising oral hygiene, even during stressful times, to prevent dental problems from arising.

Combating stress for better oral health

While stress may be inevitable, there are steps you can take to mitigate its impact on your oral health:

  • Incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga into your daily routine to reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being.

  • Prioritise regular exercise, adequate sleep, and a balanced diet to support your body's ability to cope with stress and maintain optimal oral health.

  • If stress becomes overwhelming, don't hesitate to seek guidance from a mental health professional who can provide coping strategies tailored to your needs.

  • Consistent visits to your Fulham dentist are essential for monitoring your oral health, detecting any issues early on, and receiving personalised recommendations for maintaining a healthy smile.

Are you worried about the effects of stress on your oral health? 

At New Smile Fulham Dental Practice, we're committed to helping you achieve and maintain optimal oral health, even in the face of stress. 

If you're concerned about the impact of stress on your oral health or experiencing any dental issues, don't hesitate to contact us for expert care and support. Let's work together to safeguard your smile for years to come.



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