Stress and Your Mouth: Good Dental Hygiene

By September 10, 2012Uncategorized

Last week I had my teeth cleaned and with the retirement of my dentist, I had quite the conversation with my new dental hygienist.  Here is what I learned: Your mouth contains over 400 bacteria, most of which are used in the initial digestion of foods, but some that are just trouble makers (stress).  Best to remove these. Brushing and flossing not only remove food and the beginnings of plaque buildup, they also remove unwanted bacteria. Gargle and rinse! You should brush and floss your teeth twice a-day, but people who are stressed often skip brushing due to time constraints. Not good! Chewing gum isn’t not a good substitute for not brushing. Coffee and tea stain your teeth. Unless you know how to use a toothbrush properly, an electric brush is easier on your gums (gum tissue recedes with the aging process, but is accelerated with pour (rapid) brushing). Most surgeons (particularly cardiologists) won’t operate on patients until they have good dental work done first due to all the germs that can quickly migrate from the mouth via the capillaries to the heart. Stress (in the form of anger) can also result in TMJ (teeth grinding) which will ultimately result in bone loss. Not Good! A night guard may help the symptoms of TMJ, but not the cause.  I am happy to report a clean bill of health with my teeth. As I walked out I saw a poster that said, “Ignore your teeth and they will go away.” Good advice!
Stress Tip for the Day:
Good dental hygiene is essential, not just for your teeth, but for your overall health. Brush often (twice daily) and slowly. Brushing doesn’t remove all food particles, which why you need to floss as well. Avoiding (minimizing) sugar is always ideal as sugar and teeth enamel are not good friends. Sugar also can suppress the immune system. Remember, a smile is one of the best gifts you can give anyone.
Links and Books Worth Noting:
The following article from the Mayo Clinic provides some more information on this topic: Enjoy:
Quote for the Day:
“Every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond.”  —Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote
Photo for the Day:
While in Hawaii in August last month I was able to photograph a rare (endangered) monk seal on the beach near my hotel in Oahu. I took many photos but his yawn  revealing his teeth was the most appropriate for this blog today. Enjoy.
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 12 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website:
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.
Brian Luke Seaward

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