Chances are that at some point or another, you’ve heard rumours and theories regarding how stress can cause a wide variety of mental and physical health problems. Whether it’s hair turning grey, losing your hair at a younger age or generally looking older than you are, there are various theories as to how stress takes a toll on human health. The frightening thing being that not only are most of them backed by science, but it’s apparently also perfectly possible for stress to result in the loss of your teeth.
The subject has once again been thrust into the spotlight falling following an appearance by Demi on The Tonight Show. Having stated that she has personally lost teeth directly due to stress, it’s become something of a huge talking point both in the United States and here in the UK.
“I sheared off my front teeth,” Moore told The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon.
“I’d love to say it was [from] skateboarding or something really kind of cool, but I think it’s something that’s important to share because I think it’s literally, probably after heart disease, one of the biggest killers in in America, which is stress. Stress sheared off my front tooth.”
Needless to say, it all comes across as a little on the worrying side. Nevertheless, experts have reassured the public in general that just because you happen to have a lot of stress in your life, this does not necessarily mean all of your teeth are about to start falling out. While there is sufficient evidence to link tooth loss with stress, it isn’t quite as simple as finding yourself in a stressful situation and your teeth suddenly dropping out of your mouth.
The Body’s Reaction to Stress
Instead, you need to think about exactly what it is that happens to the body when the individual in question faces a stressful situation. A couple of things can happen – one of which being an increased likelihood of clenching and grinding their teeth. Even if they aren’t convinced this is happening during the daytime, bruxism is something that can happen entirely without your knowledge overnight. And as most people are aware, clenching and grinding represent some of the most common causes of tooth loss.
“Although it can be caused by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, or teeth that are missing or crooked, it can also be caused by stress and anxiety,” read a post shared by Delta Dental.
“Nervous tension, anger and frustration can cause people to start showing the signs of bruxism without even knowing it.”
On top of this, it’s also theorised that those battling extreme or on-going stress may be considerably less likely to maintain the strong and reliable oral health and hygiene regimes than others. Stressful situations may cause them to forget, overlook the importance of oral hygiene or make bad decisions in terms of their dietary habits. And then of course there’s the way in which stress is known to trigger the release of a hormone called cortisol, which some scientists believe could be directly linked with gum disease and other oral health issues.
There’s insufficient evidence to suggest that simply being stressed alone will cause your teeth to fall out. Nevertheless, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it could if nothing else increase the likelihood of it happening.
So if stress really does have the potential to increase the likelihood of suffering tooth loss, what’s the solution? Well, common sense dictates that if stress is the problem, avoiding or reducing stress levels could be the best solution. Unfortunately, living a life that is 100% free from stressful situations simply isn’t realistic. As such, the best advice is to focus on everyday stress management – not to mention an impeccable oral hygiene regime.
Arm yourself with the best water flosser of 2017 and a dentist-recommended electric toothbrush and you stand a much better chance of holding on to your teeth for life!
Here’s a brief rundown of just a few of the most effective and achievable approaches for bringing stress under control, every day:
- Eat Well
First of all, your body cannot and will not perform as it should if you do not provide it with the correct fuel. The problem with being stressed is that stressful times often lead to poor decisions as to dietary habits – missing meals, resorting to junk food and so on. The more careful you are with what you put in, the more you can expect to get out as a result.
- Sleep Well
Sleep is of the utmost importance when it comes to managing stress. Once again, it all comes down to the way in which your body is unable to do its job properly, unless you get sufficient sleep on a consistent basis.
- Stay Active
Whereas stress releases the kinds of hormones that don’t exactly work wonders for the human body, exercise and activity release altogether more positive and pleasant hormones. Which in turn means that no matter what it is you do, you should probably think about doing more of it if it keeps you active.
- Stay Entertained
One of the biggest contributors to stress and anxiety is boredom. The reason being that the more time you spend bored, chances are the more time you will spend dwelling on whatever it is that is stressing you out in the first place. So once again, whatever it takes to keep your mind entertained and occupied, do it!
- Stay Social
Last but not least, during times of stress your instincts may tell you to lock yourself away from other people and to spend time on your own. In reality, this rarely tends to have a positive effect. By contrast, the more time you spend surrounded by your closest friends and family members, the less time you will have to dwell on whatever it is that is stressing you out.
All of the above might not guarantee the prevention of tooth loss, but chances are it could certainly work wonders next time you find yourself in a stressful situation!