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Definition of stress and its effects on oral health

In these tough economic times, the unemployment rate is the most critical since the Great Depression and many Americans are affected by stress. Stress can affect the mind and body, including oral health, if left untreated.

Stress is defined as a psychological response to situations or problems that may adversely affect the attitude or the body of a person. There are four types of stress: eustress, distress, and hoopster’s hyper stress.

  • The eustress is a positive form of stress. Stress is a motivator that allows the person to complete a project or job.
  • The distress is a bad type of stress which affects people through fear, frustration and sometimes anger.
  • The hyper stress occurs when someone is not experiencing positive stress and can lead to more problems and produce boredom and hopelessness.
  • The hoopsters is the result of stress and occurs when you press too someone to reach a deadline.

When stress occurs, more people are affected by poor or negative habits such as snuff or alcohol have an impact on your oral health, as indicated by David Cochran, DCD, Dr., President of the American Academy of Periodontology and President Department of Periodontology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Risk factors of snuff and alcohol affect the development of periodontitis.

A study published in the Journal of Periodontology in 2007 reported that stress interfere with oral hygiene. Fifty-six percent of the study participants mentioned that stress affected their ability to brush and floss effectively. When people are stressed, the hormone cortisol is present. Cortisol can increase to higher levels and may end in periodontitis. Stress can affect the oral health of people causing other oral problems as:

  1. Development of sores – small ulcers that develop in the mouth because of viruses, bacteria and a deficiency in their immune system.
  2. ATM / Bruxism -. People experiencing stress can have problems affecting the tempo mandibular joint in the jaw area besides squeak or tighten teeth during the day or at night when they sleep.
  3. Dry mouth – stress can affect levels of flow of saliva in the mouth. If people are taking certain medications can increase the flow of saliva.
  4. Gum disease – have been several students have reported that stress can affect the ability of people to maintain an efficient oral hygiene at home.

There are some oral problems that may occur when stress is present. Ask your dentist if you are experiencing any of these problems. Try to relieve stress eating a nutritional diet, getting enough sleep each night and exercise to reduce anxiety or tension.

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