Maintaining good oral-health habits can help you weather the holiday storm
December 15, 2011
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The holidays are a time for joy and celebration. For some people, however, the season can also be especially stressful. From buying the perfect gifts to hosting the family get-together, stress during this time can have real consequences for our oral health as well as overall well-being.
"People may overlook the effect stress has on our oral health," says Dr. Harry Höediono, President of the Ontario Dental Association. "However, our mouths can be just as affected by stress as the rest of our bodies are."
Stress can make people neglect their oral-health routines. They may not brush or floss as often as they should or miss dental appointments. People under stress sometimes make poor lifestyle choices – smoking, consuming too much alcohol and eating more sugary foods – which can lead to serious issues including oral cancer, gum disease or tooth decay.
Stress is a contributing factor to other serious oral-health conditions, including:
It may be impossible to eliminate all stress from your life, but you can take simple steps to reduce its impact on your health.
"We deal with stress almost every day of the year, but it does tend to worsen during the holidays," says Dr. Höediono. "But you can manage it by maintaining healthy routines throughout the year."
For more information, visit www.youroralhealth.ca.