Be Mindful About the Impact of Holiday Stress on Your Oral Health

| 5 min read

There is much to enjoy about the holiday season. However, it can also magnify the stress you perhaps already feel.

Holiday stress can have a detrimental impact on your well-being, physical health, and your oral health. Stress awareness can make a major difference as you navigate the season with a healthy smile.

The link between seasonal stress and your oral health cannot be overlooked

Stress often shows up without warning. And an often overlooked consequence is its impact on your oral health.

Stress can manifest itself unconsciously in specific habits that are harmful to your teeth, gums, and jaw.

A few unhealthy habits could include:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Jaw clenching
  • Neglecting oral hygiene routines

Holiday related stressors can, of course, add to the mix. Factor in financial pressures, social obligations, and the general holiday hustle due to shopping, travel, and meal preparation and you have the perfect-storm of holiday stress.

Here's where mindfulness matters

It can do you a world of good to pause and reflect on the various aspects of the holidays that tend to cause you the most stress. more intentionally mindful about how those stressors affect your well-being and...your oral health.

Are you grinding your teeth?

You might not be aware that you're clenching or grinding your teeth. In fact, it often happens during sleep.

But specific symptoms can identify this as a potential stress-reaction.

  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches
  • Signs of tooth wear

How's your daily oral hygiene routine?

A busy schedule and additional holiday tasks can offset your routine. It's essential to stay consistent with your health-related habits including those that affect your dental health.

  • Brush and floss on schedule
  • Be aware of any worsening dental issues

Are you staying hydrated?

Dehydration can show up in a variety of ways. Your water intake helps offset the other dietary changes that occur during the holiday season. Plus, being adequately hydrated helps control oral bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease.

Do this when holiday stress (or any stress) shows up

Be intentional about relaxing

Intention matters here because it's easy to default to believing that being told to relax is contrary to actually being relaxed.

Manage your stressful moments by doing what works for you such as deep breathing or thoughtful meditation. And again be aware of the symptoms of teeth grinding or jaw clenching.

Prioritize self-care

Take breaks from the holiday hustle. And stay consistent with your health and oral care routines.

Consult with your dentist

Your dentist can provide professional guidance and solutions for stress-related symptoms that are showing up in your oral health.

A custom-fitted night-guard is a common treatment for the potential stress-induced pain caused by teeth grinding or jaw clenching.

The holiday season is full of joyful experiences. And though you might not be able to avoid all the stress, you can apply mindfulness and awareness to its impact on your oral health.

If necessary, take advantage of a convenient option for a dental consultation. Connecting with a licensed, virtual dentist to discuss your potential stress-related dental issue.

  • Transparent consultations
  • Free scans
  • Convenient, time-saving access to low cost, virtual dental consultations with a licensed dentist
  • Connection to in-person dental care with dentists in your zip code

Feel more empowered about your oral health during the holidays or otherwise

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  • Select a reason for your visit using a brief questionnaire.
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