Feeling stressed as the end of the year approaches? We all feel overwhelmed sometimes, but if you experience high levels of stress regularly, it can impact your health, including your gums.
This connective tissue keeps your teeth in place in the mouth. If you contract gum disease, an infection of the gum tissue, you could face serious damage to your teeth, gums, and jaw. You will need professional dental care to treat gum disease, so dentists recommend prevention when it comes to periodontal health.
This means addressing risk factors of gum disease like chronic stress. You can feel encouraged to reduce stress when you know how dangerous it can be for your gums. Read on to learn about three ways that stress can negatively affect your gum health.
Weakened Immune System and Oral Infections
Your body reacts to the feeling of stress by producing a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol boosts your immune system during the period of bodily strain, and it reduces inflammation throughout the body. However, if you feel stress for an extended period of time, the body gets used to the cortisol so that your immune system no longer responds to bacteria and toxins in the body.
This leaves you at risk of infections, including gum disease. With a weakened immune system due to increased stress, you can see more adverse effects related to this gum infection. You could notice worse swelling, bleeding, and other irritation in the gum tissue.
If you experience changes or problems in your gums, do not delay calling your dentist about your symptoms. Gum disease will advance and worsen over time without treatment.
Neglected Oral Hygiene Habits
If you feel stressed, you may want to skip certain routines in order to alleviate some of the strain on your schedule. But you should not miss out on your regular oral hygiene regimen. You need to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily in order to remove harmful plaque in a timely fashion.
Otherwise, plaque build-up will encourage natural oral bacteria to spread freely across your teeth where it can easily reach your gums and cause an infection. If you contract gum disease, you will need dental work to fix the problem, which can lead to even more stress. Maintaining proper oral hygiene will therefore help you manage your stress levels.
Chronic Dry Mouth
Stress can lead to many reactions within the body. Under stress, the body slows digestion, which will result in less saliva produced in the mouth. Without the moisture, your mouth will feel uncomfortably dry.
Dry mouth is not only unpleasant. It also increases your risk of gum disease because oral bacteria can travel to the gums with greater ease in a dry environment. Drinking water will ensure you stay hydrated enough to produce plenty of saliva. But you should also address stress levels that can be a risk factor of gum disease and other dental concerns.