The Link Between Stress and Oral Health

The Link Between Stress and Oral Health

Posted by Lisa J Baker, DDS on Apr 19 2023, 07:05 AM

Stress is inevitable. We all have to deal with stressful situations in life, whether it’s related to work, school, family, or relationships. While a certain amount of stress can be healthy for you, too much can lead to health problems. That can include oral health problems. Here’s what you need to know about the connection between stress and your oral health.

How Stress Affects Your Mouth

There are many connections between your mental health and your oral health. High levels of stress can affect your immune system, which can make your body more susceptible to developing an oral infection. It can also make you more likely to develop gum disease. That’s because chronic stress can increase the amount of plaque in your mouth, which increases the risk of infection of your gums. You may also be more likely to clench your teeth when you’re stressed, which can cause damage to your teeth and increase your risk of jaw disorders like TMJ. Regular visits to the dentist can help to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.

Other Ways Stress Affects Your Body

Stress isn’t just bad for your oral health. It can have a number of dangerous effects on your entire body, including:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Memory issues
  • Weight gain
  • Increased risks for mental health issues like anxiety and depression

What You Can Do to Reduce the Effects of Stress on Your Body

There are a number of things you can do to help reduce your stress levels and promote better overall health. Some good options include:

  • Get regular exercise. Exercising can help you manage stress by improving your mood and promoting relaxation. It can also be a good way to combat feelings of anxiety.
  • Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a particular type of meditation that focuses on being in the moment and living in the present. It can be a helpful way to reduce stress and improve your mental health.
  • Seek out social support from friends and family. 
  • Make time to brush and floss every day and visit your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and checkup.

By visiting the dentist every four to six months, you can reduce your risk of experiencing oral health problems caused by stress, such as dry mouth, gum disease, or tooth infections. In addition, by staying on top of your oral health with regular care visits, you can reduce the chances of needing more extensive dental treatment when stress is already present in your life.


Dr. Lisa Baker and her caring team want their Bloomington area patients to enjoy beautiful, healthy smiles. For more information on dental procedures, call us for a consultation at (812) 269-8230.

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