Keep Healthy and Good Looking: Address The Stress

The recent events of this past year have caused higher levels of stress than most of us have been accustomed to in quite a while. Our practice has observed an increase in cracked, more sensitive teeth, more complaints of headaches, and elevated occurrences of mouth ulcers.  Without a doubt, mental stress increases your chances of cardiovascular problems and causes undesireable weight gains due to higher levels of cortisol. Even worse, weight gains may cause one to try dangerous fad diets or even contemplate “purging” to lower calorie intake. This anxiety can lead to bigger eating disorders like bullimia or anorexia nervosa. 


Furthermore, the stress ultimately takes a toll on your appearance beyond just a bulging waistline:

  • Your Skin-redness, psoraisis allow the skin to become less effective a barrier against harmful chemicals. The skin becomes more prone to dehydration and release of free radicals causing more wrinkle on the surface. The muscles of the face (from frowning,etc.) create deeper changes.
  • Sleep Deprivation from worrying or depression makes you look tired ,as well as, leading to decreased heart and immune function. This is a vicious cycle that must be rectified.
  • Your Smile certainly feels the effects from the weight of concerns, a depressed ego and possibly finances. Beyond the psychology, there is the physiologic clenching and grinding of the teeth which usually leads to headaches, cheek biting, and/or even worse, permanent damage to the enamel. Not only do your teeth wear down, get shorter, begin to yellow, but your bite begins to suffer. Furthermore, a bad bite starts to show up in your face because your facial muscles are stressed to compensate for your bite.


You can do something about it!

Here’s a few suggestions from:

  • Improve Yor Emotions With Motion–exercise will make you breathe more ( help you relax), lose wait, and improve your self esteem
  • Laugh More–the power of laughing is magical. Don’t listen to the news–unless it’s good or you’re in it. Listen to satellite radio comedy channels in the car or watch a fun comedy. Those happy feelings conquers the anxiety and soothes alots.
  • Meditate
  • Renew Yor Skin—Follow Dr. Amy Wechsler’s 7 Habits of Healthy Skin to improve your appearance from the inside.
  • Sleep On It–Get some great tips from Dr. Oz. Imagine dreaming more and waking up refreshed and less stressed.
  • Don’t Fight Your Bite –relaxing yourself is a great start. Prevention is the best medicine. However, if there are cracks or wear and tear in your mouth , don’t wait to repair them to avoid even more costly discomfort, costs, or effects on your appearance.

I know it’s a tough world out there. But taking care of yourself and addressing the stress will help you feel and look better.  That new and improved attitude will also allow you to attract better solutions and opportunities to make your life better again.

Let us know if we can help.

Keep smiling right,


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Posted in: Mouth Body Connection


  1. Excellent advice Dr. Flax. Despite what’s going on in the world around us – we have to put our health first.

    My daughter is in her last year of high school. She wants to go to University next year and she is stressed about her marks, and most of all about paying for it. She has recently developed lock jaw and I know it’s because she is clenching or grinding her teeth at night. I’ve been taking her to the chiropractor, but that doesn’t seem to be working. Do you have any suggestions?

    Comment by Louise Desmarais on November 6, 2009 at 6:49 am

  2. I am glad that at our office we have an intra-oral camera. Many offices do not have this technology. An intra-oral camera is a great diagnostic tool to monitor old restorations, check for cracks or fractures, as well as monitor wear on a patient’s teeth.LoriBeckum,RDH (Reference to Question #13, Yes)

    Comment by Lori Beckum on November 8, 2009 at 3:55 pm

  3. I have experienced a marked increase in bruxism (grinding teeth) in my practice as well. Although denied by many, the symptoms and clinical examinations confirm your observations. I have had more patients with worn down teeth, sensitive teeth, fractured teeth, broken fillings, tooth mobility, joint issues, gum recession and temperature sensitivity all associated the bruxing.

    Comment by Dr. Nicholas C. Davis on November 8, 2009 at 6:57 pm

  4. @Louise Desmarais
    Thanks Louise

    Sounds her jaw muscles are working overtime. When they are constantly contracted they will tighten up. A balanced bite appliance or deprogrammer will give her lots of relief if in fact it is diagnosed as a muscular problem. Furthermore a soft diet and warm compresses will help.



    Comment by Dr.Flax on November 9, 2009 at 3:40 pm

  5. @Lori Beckum

    Thank you for input on the Quiz from our last blog.
    Photography and magnification makes a huge difference in preventing bigger dental problems

    Comment by Dr.Flax on November 9, 2009 at 3:42 pm

  6. @Dr. Nicholas C. Davis

    90 % of the esthetic problems I’ve seen over the years is related to stress–in the bite or exacerbated by lifestyle stress. I have to agree with your comment that the stress associated with the past 12-18 months has become even more health related than I’ve seen in the last 15 years.
    Hopefully, many will heed our concerns before these problems become long term and more costly

    Thanks for visiting


    Comment by Dr.Flax on November 9, 2009 at 3:51 pm

  7. These are great suggestions to help in dealing with the effects of stress on the body. Since stress can manifest itself in a variety of ways, it is so important to find any means of relaxation that will help with some of these problems. Thank you for sharing these tips.

    Comment by Tracey Crider on November 15, 2009 at 3:24 pm

  8. I would like to give a big thanks to the team of Dr. Flax you guys are truly amazing! I love my beautiful smile.

    Comment by Bilal Nasir on April 23, 2014 at 7:38 am

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