Stress busting and the effects on your teeth
How to recognise and reduce your stress levels on National Stress Awareness Day
What is stress?
Todays is National Stress Awareness Day 2021. Everyone experiences stress at some point, which is your body’s natural response to attack — whether that’s being chased by a bear or having an overloaded schedule.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our lives and meant most of us are living with a constant level of stress. Working from home and home schooling, worrying about the future and our friends or family getting ill can all contribute. In a survey of 90,000 UK adults, more than half (56%) said they felt stressed or anxious. Stress can creep up on us and over the long term it can make people ill.
How to spot if you or someone you know is stressed
Stress can reveal itself in many ways. Some of the more obvious changes in behaviour include drinking or smoking more, sleeping too little or too much, or being irritable and snappy. Emotional changes can include feeling overwhelmed, constantly worrying, or being forgetful. There are also common physical symptoms such as eczema, chest pain or a faster heartbeat, or unexplained aches and pains.
Stress and your teeth
At the practice, we can easily recognise one physical symptom, teeth grinding or jaw clenching. In some patients it can cause facial pain or headaches, but more importantly it can wear down your teeth over time. Another problem is that heavily filled teeth can be liable to develop fractures and be liable to chipping and breaking. You’ll be pleased to know that we can minimise the impact on our teeth by fitting you with a customised mouth guard to wear during the night. These can also be used to protect teeth from the damaging effects of habitual grinding, called ‘bruxism’.
5 ways to reduce stress
If you or anyone you know is feeling stressed, the first step to feeling better is to identify the cause and try to take control of the situation, but there are also some practical things you can try that might help.
- Exercise, it’s one of the best ways to relax your body and mind.
- Learn to say no if you feel like you are trying to do too much.
- Take a break and make time for hobbies and ‘me time’.
- Eat for well-being and stay hydrated, make sure you drink 1-1.5 litres of water a day.
- Connect with people, talk through your problems with a friend or family member.
This month the Stress Management Society is offering a free 30-Day Challenge which lets you pick a daily action to improve your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Why not give it a go today on National Stress Awareness Day 2021? You can also download a free stress guide or take a free stress test on the website. The NHS website also has a range of guides and tools including a breathing exercise to reduce stress.