Have you been feeling overwhelmed lately? Stress can affect the best of us. You might already know that increased stress levels can lead to medical concerns. But you might not realize stress can also impact the well-being of your gums in particular.
You can practice preventative oral health care at home and with your dentist and periodontist to protect your gums as well as the rest of your smile. And you can work on ways to relieve stress and improve your overall wellness.
You can feel more encouraged to undergo these efforts when you better understand the risk that high amounts of stress can give to your gums. Read on to learn several ways that stress may put your periodontal health in danger if you are not careful.
Stress Weakens Immune System
When the body feels stress, it produces a hormone called cortisol, which gives your immune system a boost and reduces overall inflammation in the body. However, if you feel stress over a long period of time, the body will adjust to cortisol levels so that the immune system cannot respond to germs or bacteria.
This will leave you susceptible to infections, including oral ones like gum disease, an infection affecting the gum tissue. With a weakened immune system due to high stress, you can see more adverse effects from gum disease. This means more inflammation and irritation. You may notice worse bleeding, swelling, and tenderness in the gums if you contract gum disease.
Gum disease requires dental intervention to treat even with a strong immune system. So do not delay seeking periodontal therapy if you notice symptoms or changes in your gum health.
Neglected Oral Hygiene
When you feel stressed, you might feel tempted to skip your usual routines in an effort to redirect focus to factors that stress you out. As a result, you might not brush your teeth or floss as much as you need to in order to maintain good oral health.
Your oral hygiene regimen removes excess plaque and bacteria that your mouth naturally produces. Otherwise, bacteria can easily spread across the teeth and reach your gums. Neglecting your oral hygiene routine puts you at a much higher risk of gum disease for this reason.
If you contract gum disease, you may feel more stressed due to periodontal discomfort and the need to undergo more dental work. So avoid the infection in the first place by sticking to a thorough and diligent oral hygiene routine.
Have you ever felt a dry, sticky feeling in your mouth? Dry mouth may feel uncomfortable, but this dental condition is also a risk factor for gum disease.
Stress can have many effects on the body, and one of them is suspending digestion, which will mean producing less saliva. Without this moisture, your mouth will have a dry environment. This can allow bacteria to travel across the teeth with greater ease.
As a result, you can have an increased chance of contracting infections like gum disease. Drinking plenty of water will help you avoid dry mouth. But addressing the root of stress can also protect your oral health.