Why Stress Relief is Good for Your Oral Health

stress relief good for oral healthExcessive stress levels can influence nearly every part of your life, including your oral health. The human body’s stress response, also known as the fight-or-flight response, is a defensive mechanism that protects us and allows us to respond more quickly to threats. In today’s modern world, however, there are plenty of everyday factors that continually cause stress. Negative circumstances or interactions can make us feel threatened, triggering our defense. The longer you are stressed, the longer your body is operating in high gear and the quicker your mind, body, and health can deteriorate. In regard to your oral health, stress has been known to increase the risk of periodontal disease (stress inhibits your immune system’s defenses against infection and disease). Stress can also lead to canker sores, which are harmless but extremely uncomfortable sores in your mouth, and TMJ dysfunction (distressed jaw joints, or TMJs).

Stress Relief for Improved Oral Health

  • Work it out—The most effective method for stress relief is exercise, or some other taxing physical activity (i.e., playing sports, skateboarding, etc.). Keeping your body active will not only keep you in good shape, it will also help regulate your body and burn off negative or nervous energy.
  • Rub it out—Stress relief is the key benefit of massage therapy. Schedule a professional massage to help rub the kinks out of your stressed muscles, or have a loved one do it for you.
  • Day dream for a moment—Our minds are powerful tools. Studies show that concentrating on negative thoughts and emotions can increase your stress levels. Conversely, removing these negative thoughts and replacing them with visions of your favorite place, an adored friend, or any other positive influence, can reduce stress levels and calm your mind, thereby lessening the risk to your oral and overall health.


As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Ann M. Kania is specially qualified to diagnose and treat issues concerning periodontal tissue and the supportive structures of a patient’s smile, as well as place dental implants to restore teeth lost to dental disease or trauma. Dr. Kania also offers the Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST) for minimally-invasive, scalpel-free gum grafting. To seek Dr. Kania’s expertise, contact her office today at (760) 642-0711.