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Increased stress levels can result in poor dental health
Updated: 1/12/2011 2:59:50 PM
 

Stress levels are linked to the quality of one Decreasing stress may prove an ideal new year's resolution for many. According to a recent Stress in America Survey, nearly 40 percent of adults experience wakefulness at night because of stress.

Stress can impact the quality of one's personal and professional life, and can also negatively impact one's dental health by causing canker sore outbreaks and teeth grinding, note the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Moreover, according to the American Psychological Association, extreme stress levels can contribute to depression, which has a direct relationship with poor dental health.

The depressed have twice the chance of poor outcomes from periodontal treatment compared to their non-depressed counterparts, reports a study in the Journal of Periodontology. Moreover, depressed patients are more likely to smoke and skip oral hygiene routines like flossing and brushing regularly, which increases their risk of gum diseases and cavities.

Making small lifestyle changes can greatly reduce stress levels and potentially improve one's dental health. Eating healthier foods would be an excellent start. The survey found 40 percent of stressed adults turn to unhealthy foods, such as high sugar sodas and candy.

Nutritionist Reema Sayegh of Red Mountain Resort & Spa suggests "fresh fruit and natural nut butter, or a serving of cut-up veggies, raw nuts" and low-fat cheese for a high-energy, teeth-friendly alternative.

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