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Stress Mouth How Long-Term Stress Affects Your Health

collaborative and positive has made a big difference for me. I am now sleeping better and noticing that I have more energy every day. My skin doesn’t hate me anymore and I’m finally starting to lose weight! The best part is the boost in mental clarity and my overall happiness. The biggest positive impact in my life now is Citracado Dental’s focus on wellness. Having a wellness program in the workplace gives employees the tools, social support, and strategies needed to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors, such as stress management. What is wellness? Wellness involves making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is a top priority at my new workplace. There are many areas of wellness that can bring harmony to an individual’s life, such as physical wellness, mental wellness, and social wellness.

By Ingrid Hernandez-Monroy

I experienced many intensely stressful days at my previous job. Every day, I was in the middle of the action, running through the thick mud of deadlines and impossible expectations. The weight of responsibility for two entire departments rested solely on my shoulders. The pressure was incredible. The work environment was one of intense corporate competition, but not the collaborative kind. It was a toxic environment that kept reinforcing mistreatment. Days without breaks were the norm for me. Over time, the stress began taxing my body. In addition to exhaustion, I gained weight in spite of diligently eating carefully-portioned healthy food. I had breakouts on my face every day, along with a noticeable loss of hair. My jaw routinely hurt from clenching my teeth all day long. I look back now with outrage at all of the red flags I was ignoring. “If the work environment was so toxic, then why did you stay?” anyone would wonder. When you’re an ambitious person and your career starts to get seriously demanding, all you want to do is work harder in order to prove yourself. My strategy was to grin and bear it. I pressed on with a calm demeanor and attempted to stay in control. However, my body was clearly suffering. The extent of the damage would even reach things I had taken for granted, like the health of my teeth and gums. I knew I needed a major change. So, I looked for a different opportunity and found gold at a dental practice here in Escondido called Citracado Dental Group. It is a night and day difference from my previous workplace! The doctors and staff are kind, caring, and encouraging. Being accepted into a company whose culture is

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| Escondido Magazine

Julie Kangas, D.D.S. was my guide through a field of information that was new to me: the impact that stress can have on oral health. Dr. Kangas has spent years studying the connection between oral and systemic health. She has seen the effects of stress on her patients’ teeth and gums for years. I learned the mouth is the gateway to your body and that stress is a factor that contributes to the following conditions: Teeth grinding, known as bruxism – Grinding your teeth at night can lead to tooth damage. Patients diagnosed with bruxism may be prescribed a night guard to protect the jaw. TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorders – Anxiety and depression has been shown to trigger symptoms of TMJ, such as jaw pain, difficulty chewing, and clicking and locking of the jaw joint. Canker Sores – Stress can cause canker sores, which can make eating and talking painful for up to two weeks. Dry Mouth – When the mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, it can lead to dental health problems. Gum Disease – Long-term stress has been shown to affect our immune systems. This can make it difficult for the body to fight infections such as periodontal disease, which begins with red swollen gums that may bleed, leads to painful chewing, and eventually results in tooth loss. Tooth Decay – Stress eating and the consumption of sugary foods can increase tooth decay. People under stress also have a tendency to neglect proper oral hygiene routines, increasing the risks of decay. I’d been experiencing jaw pain, but I hadn’t realized that the long-term stress I was under also began contributing to

Escondido Magazine Fall 2017 issue 33  

Want to know the latest about Escondido? We are on the brink of exciting development. Check out the project in the works, bringing housing t...

Escondido Magazine Fall 2017 issue 33  

Want to know the latest about Escondido? We are on the brink of exciting development. Check out the project in the works, bringing housing t...

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