Fatigue and stress can be associated with poor dental health.

How stress, fatigue and dental health are connected

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It’s been said that the number one complaint in medical offices across the country is fatigue. People seem less resilient when encountering challenges or recovering from stressful situations. One hidden cause might be chronic infections in the mouth that put stress on our immune systems 24/7. Sometimes people are unaware there’s a problem because infections don’t always hurt!

There may be gum infections, bone infections or tooth/root canal infections. Gum disease actually affects at least half of the population. Because gum disease often doesn’t hurt, if there isn’t regular, thorough dental care, people don’t always know they have it.

Inflammatory bacteria that live in your mouth can leak into the bloodstream and put stress on organs like the heart. The endothelial lining of the blood vessels can become inflamed, which eventually leads to plaquing of the arteries and increased cholesterol.

Bacteria may also become embedded in the arterial plaque, causing it to be chronically inflamed. So inflammation and stress stemming from your mouth can put a strain on heart functioning over time. As we all know, a healthy heart contributes to your energy levels, sense of well-being and ability to handle stress.

Sometimes it’s the other way ‘round: stress can have an impact on your mouth. Stress on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can lead to headaches and problems sleeping. Clenching and grinding can cause the teeth to wear down and loosen. Eventually, teeth may be lost.

Are you putting off dental visits? Do you have unexplained fatigue? Quality dental care can save you money in the long run, and can certainly add to your quality of life.

Dr. Carey O’Rielly, DDS is a holistic dentist practicing at Integrative Dentistry in Encinitas. To learn more visit our website at myholisticdentist.com or contact us at 760-632-1304.

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