How Stress Affects Your Health

Stress can come from a variety of different sources and impact many aspects of your health. Stress from work, driving in traffic, and other causes can contribute to both minor health conditions and serious diseases.

If you are under chronic stress, you may not realize how your health is suffering. In this post, Longmont dentist Dr. Amy Farmer discusses how stress is affecting your overall health.

How Stress Causes Common Health Conditions

Stress can be the cause of minor health conditions that many people experience on occasion. Headaches, fatigue, sleep problems, and many other health issues can be caused by stress.

Unfortunately, people are often unaware that stress is the cause of their health problems. They may take medicine to relieve symptoms, but they aren’t addressing the cause of their problems — chronic stress.

Diseases Related to Stress

People who experience long-term chronic stress may develop more serious health problems. Stress could be one of many contributing factors to these health conditions, along with genetics and other factors.

Some illnesses that could be caused by chronic stress include:

  • Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, heart attack, and stroke
  • Mental health illnesses such as anxiety or depression
  • Gastrointestinal issues such as irritable bowel syndrome
  • Skin problems, including acne and psoriasis

Stress and Dental Health

People under stress may grind or clench their teeth to cope, which can wear down tooth enamel, or crack and fracture teeth. Long-term teeth grinding or clenching can also damage the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and cause chronic jaw pain. Stress can also weaken your immune system, which puts you at a higher risk for cold sores, canker sores and gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and increase your risk of developing certain systemic health conditions (e.g., heart disease).

People under stress may also develop unhealthy lifestyle habits to deal with their stress, such as smoking or eating processed foods. These habits can do further damage to your teeth and gums.

Learn to Handle Stress Constructively

Everyone has to deal with some amount of stress, but some people learn to deal with it in a healthy manner. Exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and getting quality sleep are good first steps for managing stress more effectively. You may also want to consider learning deep breathing or other relaxation techniques.

You can’t completely eliminate stress, but you can learn to manage it better, and improve your overall health in the process.

Schedule Your Visit

Talk to your dentist if stress is affecting your dental health and hygiene. Dr. Amy Farmer can examine your teeth and gums to determine the severity of the problem and recommend a solution. The dentist offers a range of restorative dental procedures to treat weakened or damaged teeth and gums. Dr. Farmer can also make recommendations for diet and lifestyle choices that enhance both your oral and overall health. To schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Farmer’s Longmont dental practice by calling (303) 776-1480 today.

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