With millions of Americans out of work and millions more home in quarantine, we are living in times of unprecedented stress. That stress can manifest in many ways in our daily lives, and it can take its toll on not just our mental health, but our overall physical health, too.
If you are stressed out in quarantine or back to work and feeling the stress and anxiety of these uncertain times, your oral health could be at risk. Here’s what you should do to protect your oral health if you find yourself more stressed than usual.
Don’t Skip Your Routine
Sometimes when we are stressed or depressed, it can be hard to get motivated to care for ourselves. This can mean not eating right, withdrawing, and not taking care of our health and hygiene. But not taking care of our teeth is a particularly dangerous slippery slope, because our oral health is the gateway to our overall health. Not brushing can cause periodontal disease, which can allow harmful bacteria into our bloodstream that can cause a host of other problems, including diabetes and stroke! While it can be hard to find the strength to go about our daily lives in times of crisis, don’t neglect your oral health! Make it a point to get up, get dressed, and brush and floss your teeth each day. Keeping a normal routine may help distract you and it will help keep you feeling your best.
Try Stress-Reduction Methods
If you are home and feeling stressed, try adding some stress-reducing techniques to your day. Deep breathing, yoga, diffusing scented oils, playing relaxing music, coloring, knitting or any other hobby that brings you joy can help allay stress by occupying your mind and taking the focus off the negative.
While we may be in isolation, we are still connected through social media, phone and, for some of us, family that lives with us. Now it is more important than ever to reach out to friends and loved ones and try to remain social. It can boost our mood and remind us that we have people in our lives who care for us.
If you find that your oral health is sliding, or that you are clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth in times of stress, give Dr. Mingus a call and discuss your options. He can be reached at 541-382-6565.