As the holiday season arrives, you may notice your stress levels start to rise. Between shopping, cooking, and family gatherings, it can be a whirlwind of activity. What you may not realize is that stress impacts your oral health. We wanted to explore this connection and discuss ways you can reduce your stress this holiday season.

The Impact of Stress on Your Dental Health

There are numerous ways that stress can take a toll on your smile, such as

  • Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): If you’re stressed, you may unconsciously clench or grind your teeth, leading to tooth damage, jaw pain, and headaches. 
  • TMJ Disorders: Stress can inflame your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, leading to jaw pain, noisy clicking, and difficulty in opening and closing your mouth. 
  • Gum Disease: Chronic stress can weaken your immune system. As a result, your body has a hard time fighting infections like gum disease.
  • Dry Mouth: Stress can reduce saliva production, which can lead to dry mouth. This can lead to an increased risk for bad breath, cavities, and other oral health issues. 

Plus, stress can lead you to skip important dental appointments and normal oral hygiene routines. All of this can result in an increase in issues as well.

Ways to Reduce Stress During the Holidays

Knowing the impact stress has on your body, there are ways you can reduce it. Consider these tips:

  • Prioritize Self-Care: Make time for yourself each day, whether it’s for a walk, a bath, or meditation. Self-care is crucial for managing stress.
  • Stay Active: Regular physical activity helps reduce stress. Consider taking short walks or practicing yoga during the holiday season. 
  • Mindful Breathing: Practice deep breathing techniques to calm your mind and relax your body. 
  • Plan Ahead: Make a to-do list and plan your holiday activities well in advance to avoid last-minute stress. 
  • Set Realistic Expectations: Remember that perfection isn’t necessary. Go easy on yourself during the holiday season. 
  • Cut Down on Sugar and Caffeine: Too much sugar and caffeine can worsen stress and negatively impact your oral health. Consume them in moderation. 
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps combat dry mouth, a common side effect of stress. 
  • Connect with Loved Ones: Reach out to friends and family for support and connection, which can be comforting during stressful times. 
  • Seek Professional Help: If stress becomes too much, don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance from a therapist or counselor.

Stress impacts your oral health. That’s why, during the holiday season, it’s crucial to prioritize your well-being. By following these stress-reduction strategies, you will not only protect your smile but ensure a happier and healthier holiday season. 

Don’t forget to schedule your checkup before the year ends! We can check your smile for any lingering oral health issues. Plus, we’ll professionally clean your teeth to remove signs of tartar and plaque build-up. 

Worried about cost or the lack of insurance? Join our Membership Club! It covers the cost of your biannual checkup and gives you discounts on other treatments. All for a low monthly fee.

Call Twin Rivers Dental today at 531-221-1177 for an appointment in Valley, NE. You can also schedule online.