Lifestyle & Your Dental Health
You may not be aware that stress can have an effect on your oral health. Stress may cause you to distrupt your dental routine, including not brushing or flossing your teeth as regularly as you should. You may also make poor choices with your diet (eating takeaways or sugary foods) and lifestyle (increased alcohol intake or smoking).
Stress can also lead to bruxism. In fact around 70% of bruxism cases which happen during sleep are thought to be linked to stress. Bruxism occurs most frequently at night-time whilst you are sleeping although you may clench your jaw during the day as a response to stressful situations or when you are concentrating.
Your immune system can also be effected by stress which can increase your chances of getting gum disease. When you are sick and have a weakened immune system your body finds it more difficult to respond to and attack infections and toxins entering your body. If you have a weakened immune system your teeth may be more prone to tooth decay.
The effects of smoking on your teeth are widely known. Not only does smoking discolour your teeth and cause bad breath but it can also increase your chance of getting mouth and lung cancers. If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day you are six times more likely to contract mouth cancer than someone who doesn’t smoke. Mouth cancer is one of the few cancers that is predicted to increase in the coming years, with more than 1,800 currently losing their lives to mouth cancer in the UK every year.
Misuse of alcohol has an impact on your chances of developing mouth cancer. Research has shown that around 80% of mouth cancer patients frequently consumer alcohol. The combination of smoking and alcohol pertains higher risks with those who frequently drink alcohol and smoke having a 38 times increased chance of developing mouth cancer.
Drinking alcohol can also damage your teeth enamel, which if left untreated can lead to tooth decay and in the worst case scenarios, teeth falling out.