The Link Between Periodontal Disease and Stress

Gum Disease and Stress

Medical and dental researchers have identified a strong relationship between stress and periodontal disease. Advanced gum disease, called periodontal disease, involves the inflammation and destruction of the tissues that anchor your teeth in place. This damage not only impacts the gums and fibrous tissues, but also the jawbone, a process that significantly shortens the lifespan of each tooth. In fact, the inflammatory reaction that destroys your smile can also impair your general wellbeing.

Stress has been shown to be a contributing factor to periodontal disease due to the presence of chronic inflammation and a weak immune defense. The human body undergoes such a strong inflammatory reaction in response to stress that the even a healthy immune system can become temporarily impaired. Under these conditions, the oral environment is much more vulnerable and susceptible to periodontal disease.

People who have already been diagnosed with periodontal disease, and even those patients who generally enjoy good oral health, must practice adequate daily oral care in addition to regular visits with the dentist in order to manage stress-induced gum disease.

Stress has been linked to several serious health conditions such as high blood pressure, various forms of cancer, and many additional health problems. Stress is not only a risk factor in periodontal disease, but it can also exacerbate existing periodontal disease. Research has demonstrated that it is increasingly difficult for a body under stress to overcome an infection such as gum disease.

According to current evidence, stress in any form can have a negative impact on your oral health. This includes both emotional stress and physical stress.

When a patient is exposed to stressful conditions, his/her immune defenses are considerably weakened, permitting the oral bacteria that cause periodontal disease to flourish. In light of these findings, it is evident that the failure to recognize and manage stress levels can lead to advanced gum disease.

Together with your doctor and periodontist, it is possible to manage periodontal disease and stress-related problems in an effort to prevent either condition from becoming more severe. Ask our periodontal team for more information about the connection between stress and gum disease today.

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