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Deck the Halls, Not Your Neighbor: How Holiday Stress Affects Oral Health

December 14, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay Oza @ 8:28 pm
A woman suffering from holiday stress not thinking of her oral health

The holiday season is often associated with joy, celebration, and festive gatherings. However, for many, it also brings a fair share of stress and anxiety. While you run through the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations, it’s essential to understand how this stress can impact your oral health. Continue reading to unwrap the surprising ways holiday stress affects your mouth.

1. Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching

The heightened stress levels during the holidays can contribute to teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Whether it’s the pressure of organizing events or managing added responsibilities, these stress-induced habits can lead to discomfort. For instance, both can lead to tooth damage, jaw pain, and headaches if left unmanaged. 

2. Stress Increases Your Risk of Gum Disease

Prolonged, chronic stress weakens the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections. This includes diseases that affect your gums. The combination of lowered immunity due to holiday stressors and eating sugary treats elevates the risk of gum disease.

Because of this, symptoms like redness, swelling, and bleeding become more prevalent during the holidays. 

3. Canker Sores are More Likely for Stressed People

For some, a weakened immune system can manifest as canker sores, adding discomfort to an already stressful season. These generally form from biting your cheeks, lips, or tongue but can also appear due to acid irritation.

4. Neglecting Oral Health Care

Overloaded schedules and increased stress might result in skipping regular oral care routines. Rushed brushing, inconsistent flossing, and missed dental appointments are all the result of holiday burnout.

Managing Holiday Stress and Your Oral Hygiene

Try these strategies to help you cope:

Practice Stress-Relief Techniques: Incorporate stress-relief practices like deep breathing, meditation, or gentle exercise to alleviate tension.

Stick to Your Oral Hygiene Routine: Continue your usual oral hygiene routine. Consistent brushing, flossing, and dental checkups are key to mitigating the holiday.

Limit Sugary Treats: Enjoy holiday treats in moderation and try to eat healthier alternatives to satisfy your sweet cravings.

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to combat dry mouth and support saliva production.

By understanding how holiday stress affects your oral health, you can see how important alleviating your stress and practicing self-care is. Amidst the festivities, remember to care for your snowy whites. This will ensure that your holiday season remains merry and bright in mind and mouth.

About the Practice

Before your schedule is filled with holiday cheer, come into Marvel Dental & Orthodontics. There, you’ll find an incredibly knowledgeable dental team and friendly staff ready and waiting to help you. They use the latest dental technology and techniques to create customized treatment plans that will fit into your schedule and your budget. Call (817) 933-3883 to schedule an appointment or visit the website to learn more.

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