Can Stress Cause Cavities?
A recent Canadian study published by Biomed Central: Oral Health used information from different databases and studies to examine the question of whether there is a link between stress levels and cavities. The studies chosen focused particularly on children between the ages of four and fourteen.
Results of the Study
The researchers conducting the studies measured salivary cortisol, or the amount of the hormone called cortisol which is present in the saliva in your mouth, to measure stress levels in the children. These researchers sought to understand if there was a connection between stress-related changes in saliva and the presence of cavities in the mouth.
At the end of the studies, it was determined that there was insufficient evidence linking cavities and stress-related changes in saliva in the mouth. These preliminary results would indicate that stress does not directly cause cavities, but additional research is being done to further explore this area.
While we know based on this preliminary research that cavities are not directly caused by reactions to stress in the body, we at Lakeforest Dental Associates understand that stress can lead us to develop unhealthy habits that may more indirectly affect the quality of your teeth. When people are stressed or pressed for time, they tend to do things such as grind their teeth, reach for sugary or unhealthy snacks, skip or cut down on flossing and using mouthwash and drinking large amounts of soda and other caffeinated drinks — which can damage the quality of your teeth and lead to cavities over time.
Call Your Gaithersburg Dentist
As your local family dentist in Gaithersburg, MD, our team of caring providers at Lakeforest Dental Associates will help you learn to manage your stress in a healthy way and take care of your smile even when your life gets hectic. Visit our office today!