How Stress Affects Your Oral Health

During this stressful coronavirus crisis, Design Dental is here to provide you with information on how stress affects your oral health. We know this is a difficult time for many people and wish everyone in our community continued safety and health.

While the official cases in Iowa at this time are relatively low, we expect these numbers to grow in the coming weeks, and we want to ensure our patients continue to keep an eye on their oral health to prevent future issues. Here are some common ways stress affects your oral health:


Many people grind their teeth under high levels of stress. Addressing teeth grinding as soon as possible can help you avoid tooth damage, discomfort, and other side effects that can impact your dental health and quality of life. Our office encourages you to practice mindfulness during these stressful times. Pay attention to your facial muscles, and remind yourself to unclench your jaw even under high stress.

You can even leave yourself small notes around your home as a reminder to unclench your jaw and relax your facial muscles. At your next appointment, mention your teeth grinding to Dr. Tu. Dr. Tu will recommend the most suitable treatment for your dental health condition and symptoms after an exam.


It’s important to note that even under high stress, taking care of your teeth should still be a priority. At Design Dental, we want to encourage our patients to continue their best oral hygiene habits. The best way to avoid future dental concerns is to practice proactive dental care at home. Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, or following every meal.

Keep in mind these tips for best results when brushing your teeth:

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle
  • Gently move the brush back and forth in short strokes.
  • Brush all tooth surfaces, including the outer and inner surfaces.
  • Brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth as well, on both top and bottom teeth.


Under high stress, it is common for patients to seek out comfort foods. Unfortunately, most comfort foods include sugars or sticky residues that can be very harmful to your teeth. Additionally, some of the most common household foods are known for leaving behind staining agents that can discolor your teeth.

Substances to be mindful of during this time include hard candies, red wine, soda, coffee, tomato-based sauces, and potato chips. We want to encourage our patients to limit their intake of any foods they suspect might be bad for their teeth during this time. Eating a well-balanced diet will go a long way in helping maintain your overall health throughout this stressful time.

As a valued patient or family member of a patient, we appreciate the trust you place in our team here at Design Dental. We want to encourage all of our patients to stay well, hydrate, eat nutritious foods, and get plenty of rest during this stressful time.

Once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, schedule an appointment with Design Dental so that we can help you maintain and restore your smile. We look forward to seeing you soon.