The Risks of Remote Work on Oral Health
8 mins read

The Risks of Remote Work on Oral Health

The global shift to remote work, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has brought numerous changes to our daily lives. While working from home has its benefits, such as flexibility and the elimination of commute times, it also presents unique challenges, particularly in maintaining oral health. Many people are unaware of how remote work can negatively impact their dental health. In this blog, we will explore the risks of remote work on oral health and provide practical tips to mitigate these risks. Here we would like to thank Dr. Kamal Haddad of Haddad Dental well known name in Easton cosmetic dentistry.

Latin woman using laptop.

Sedentary Lifestyle and Snacking

One of the most significant risks to oral health associated with remote work is the sedentary lifestyle and increased snacking. When working from home, people often have easier access to their kitchen, leading to more frequent snacking. This can result in:

Increased Sugar Intake

Top view of different types and forms of sugar in a bowl and glasses on black wooden background

Many common snacks are high in sugar, which is a major contributor to tooth decay. Frequent consumption of sugary snacks creates a constant supply of sugar for bacteria in the mouth, leading to the production of acids that erode tooth enamel. Over time, this can result in cavities and other dental issues.

Poor Snacking Choices

Indian Street Snack Masala Khari Papdi With Besan Papri or Chakli

Remote workers may also choose snacks that are detrimental to their oral health, such as chips, cookies, and sodas. These foods can stick to the teeth and gums, providing a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Sticky foods are particularly problematic because they cling to the teeth, prolonging the exposure to acids.

Reduced Oral Hygiene

Side view man and boy brushing teeth

Working from home can disrupt regular routines, including oral hygiene practices. Without the structure of a traditional workday, people might skip brushing their teeth after meals or forget to floss. This neglect can lead to plaque buildup, gum disease, and other dental problems.

Increased Stress Levels

Remote work can be stressful, particularly for those who struggle to balance work and personal life in the same space. Increased stress levels can have a direct impact on oral health in several ways:

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Stress and anxiety are known triggers for bruxism, a condition where individuals grind or clench their teeth, often unconsciously. Bruxism can lead to tooth wear, fractures, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Remote workers who experience heightened stress may be at a higher risk for developing bruxism.

Poor Diet Choices

Stress can also lead to poor dietary choices, such as consuming comfort foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. These foods not only contribute to weight gain but also pose a risk to dental health. Additionally, stress can reduce saliva production, which is essential for neutralizing acids and washing away food particles.

Neglect of Oral Hygiene

When under stress, people may neglect their oral hygiene routines. They might skip brushing and flossing or avoid dental appointments, thinking they have more pressing concerns. This neglect can result in the accumulation of plaque and tartar, increasing the risk of gum disease and cavities.

Poor Ergonomics and Posture

Posture correction infographics

Ergonomics play a crucial role in overall health, including oral health. Poor ergonomics and posture while working from home can contribute to dental problems in unexpected ways:

TMJ Disorders

Improper posture, such as slouching or hunching over a computer, can strain the muscles and joints of the jaw, leading to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Symptoms of TMJ disorders include jaw pain, headaches, and difficulty chewing.

Neck and Back Pain

Chronic neck and back pain resulting from poor ergonomics can affect oral health indirectly. For example, people experiencing pain may clench their jaw or grind their teeth as a reaction to discomfort, increasing the risk of bruxism and related dental issues.

Impact of Screen Time

Medium shot man with smartphone

Remote work often involves prolonged periods of screen time, which can have several detrimental effects on oral health:

Dry Mouth

Extended screen time can lead to dry mouth, a condition where there is insufficient saliva production. Saliva is essential for maintaining oral health as it helps neutralize acids, wash away food particles, and protect against tooth decay. Dry mouth increases the risk of cavities and gum disease.

Poor Eating Habits

Prolonged screen time can lead to poor eating habits, such as mindless snacking or eating meals in front of the computer. These habits can result in the consumption of unhealthy foods and irregular meal times, both of which negatively impact oral health.

Lack of Routine

tired person with sleep deprivation

One of the challenges of remote work is maintaining a consistent routine. A lack of routine can lead to the neglect of essential oral health practices:

Irregular Brushing and Flossing

Without a set schedule, people may brush and floss their teeth irregularly. Consistent oral hygiene routines are crucial for preventing plaque buildup and maintaining healthy gums and teeth.

Missed Dental Appointments

Remote workers might be more likely to miss or postpone dental appointments due to their flexible schedules or perceived lack of time. Regular dental check-ups are essential for early detection and treatment of dental issues.

Tips to Maintain Oral Health While Working Remotely

While remote work poses challenges to maintaining oral health, there are several practical steps you can take to protect your teeth and gums:

1. Establish a Routine

Create a daily routine that includes regular times for brushing and flossing your teeth. Aim to brush at least twice a day and floss once daily. Setting specific times, such as after meals, can help ensure you don’t forget these important practices.

2. Make Healthy Snack Choices

Opt for healthy snacks that are low in sugar and beneficial for your teeth. Some good choices include fruits, vegetables, nuts, and cheese. Avoid sticky and sugary snacks that can contribute to tooth decay.

3. Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and stimulate saliva production. Water also helps rinse away food particles and reduce the risk of dry mouth.

4. Practice Stress Management

Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercising, practicing mindfulness, or engaging in hobbies. Reducing stress can help prevent bruxism and other stress-related dental issues.

5. Improve Ergonomics

Ensure your workspace is ergonomically friendly. Use a chair with good lumbar support, position your computer screen at eye level, and maintain a neutral posture to reduce strain on your neck and jaw.

6. Take Regular Breaks

Take regular breaks from screen time to rest your eyes and reduce the risk of dry mouth. Use these breaks to stand up, stretch, and drink water.

7. Schedule Dental Check-Ups

Don’t neglect regular dental check-ups. Schedule and keep appointments with your dentist to ensure any potential issues are caught early and treated promptly.

8. Use Oral Hygiene Products

Consider using oral hygiene products that can enhance your routine, such as fluoride toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental floss. These products can help strengthen your teeth and gums.


The shift to remote work has brought many changes to our daily lives, and it’s important to be aware of how these changes can impact our oral health. By understanding the risks associated with remote work and taking proactive steps to maintain good oral hygiene, you can protect your teeth and gums from potential harm. Establishing a routine, making healthy choices, managing stress, and maintaining regular dental check-ups are key strategies to ensure your oral health remains a priority, even when working from home. Remember, taking care of your oral health is an essential part of your overall well-being.