The holiday season can be stressful and even difficult for some, me included. I also see a lot of folks at this time of year with dental manifestations of stress. So, here are some suggestions on how to hopefully stay on an even keel and perhaps enjoy this time of year a little more and better preserve your dental health:
- Reduce stress by continuing to exercise and by trying to remain more tolerant. For me, this means sticking to my Pilates class schedule, walking as much as I can, and trying to avoid antagonizing my sister!
- Stick to Healthy Habits. Exercise and watch your caloric intake and alcohol consumption. Trying to keep my weight gain to a minimum can be a challenge but at least I’m paying attention to it. A few lighter meals thrown in can make all the difference when you know you are facing elaborate dinner parties!
- Stick to a budget. Financial woes can be among the most detrimental stressors affecting anyone. Don’t get overextended trying to make things better for everyone around you. It just seems to come back to bite you in the end.
- Relax your face and jaw muscles. I always see a lot of folks with stress-induced jaw pain around this time of year. It’s usually related to spasms of the masticatory (chewing) muscles related to stress. Remember the rule: Lips together and teeth apart! A little facial massage can often help. Tell me if you are clenching or grinding. In addition to damaging the teeth, these habits can also cause scores of seemingly unrelated symptoms. I have some easy exercises and tips for reducing clenching and preventing the damage that can result from grinding.
I hope these tips help you to enjoy your best holidays ever!
In the meantime, I’d be more than happy to address any of your concerns regarding the health of your teeth. Don’t hesitate to contact me or the staff at my office, Dr. Laurence H. Stone, DDS, any time at 215-230-7667.