I never thought of myself as an addict, but I did end up addicted to anti-anxiety medication after developing Generalized Anxiety Disorder. At some point, the medicine stopped being a way to deal with the nervousness and panic attacks, and became something my body craved. I knew that I needed help fast. Fortunately, a local drug rehab program includes support for people like me. They helped me wean off the medication, use methods like massage therapy to help my nerves heal, and even provided ongoing counseling for our family. I don't know how I would have made it without their help. If you suspect that your medication has crossed the line from being helpful to hurtful, take heart. Let me tell you about my journey out of addiction and back to wholeness.
Many people know that too much stress can affect their health — for example, chronic stress may lead to issues such as high blood pressure. However, it's important to also understand that stress can link to your dental health. Stress can be a part of your day for many different reasons, but it's important to take steps to reduce it in a healthy way. Your dentist might be able to identify stress-related issues with your teeth during your next dental checkup. Here are some potential ways that stress can harm your oral health.
A common symptom of stress is the grinding of your teeth, both when you're awake and when you're asleep. When you're stressed and your mind is busy fretting over what is bothering you, you can begin to involuntarily grind your teeth. Over time, this habit can cause problems. Too much grinding has the potential to wear the tooth enamel off the surfaces of your teeth, resulting in a higher risk of cavities and tooth decay. In extreme examples, you might even grind your teeth down until they're significantly smaller than they should be, which can affect your bite.
People who smoke will often reach for a cigarette more frequently when they're stressed. And, if you don't smoke, you might even take up the habit under the assumption that doing so can be an effective way to reduce your stress. While being detrimental to your overall health, smoking can also jeopardize your oral health. The harmful chemicals in cigarettes can stain your teeth and cause dramatic yellowing. Smoking can also increase your risk of gum disease. Your dentist will warn you against smoking if he or she suspects that a change in the overall health of your mouth is due to this habit.
Eating when stressed is something that many people do — and the concern with doing so is that you'll often reach for unhealthy foods that damage your teeth. Instead of turning to vegetables and a glass of water when you're stressed, you might opt for something sweet. Consuming high-sugar products can initially improve your mood in some cases, although it isn't a long-term solution for stress. Products such as soda, candy, chocolate, and other sweets can all increase your risk of cavities and tooth decay.
If you're stressed and are concerned about the role this emotion may play in your dental health, talk to a dentist like those at Peninsula Community Health Services- Medical (Cottonwood) about ways to keep your teeth in good shape while dealing with stress.Share