Have you felt overwhelmed lately? Stress can disrupt your mental health and mood. But you might not realize it has a serious impact on your overall well-being too. Increased strain from high stress levels may lead to medical concerns throughout your body, including your mouth.
Your gums in particular may see damage linked directly to increased stress levels. Make efforts to relieve stress and reduce this danger to this crucial connective tissue that keeps your teeth in place in your smile. To feel more encouraged to protect your gums, check out three threats to your periodontal health that can develop if you feel chronically stressed.
Weakened Immune System
When you feel stress, your body automatically starts to produce cortisol, a hormone that boosts your immune system and reduces inflammation. In acute situations, your body can find this boost beneficial, but over time, your body can get used to cortisol.
So if you experience long-term stress, your immune system cannot fight germs and bacteria the way it needs to. Then you can have a higher chance of contracting infections and a tougher time trying to get rid of them.
When it comes to gum health specifically, you could see an increased risk of gum disease, an infection affecting your gum tissue. Its early stage presents with swelling, bleeding, and soreness due to inflamed gum tissue. And thanks to high stress levels, these symptoms might feel worse.
Whether stressed or not, you will need intervention from a dentist to eradicate gum disease. Do not delay seeking periodontal therapy to get rid of this infection as soon as you notice changes in your gum health.
Neglected Oral Hygiene
If you feel overwhelmed, you might feel tempted to skip some of your usual routines in an attempt to relieve some of that stress. Some people may skip their oral hygiene regimen, for instance. You should not do this because you will increase your risk of dental emergencies. This will only make you more stressed.
When you do not floss or brush your teeth as often as you should, even skipping your routine just once, you leave plaque and other harmful residues on your teeth. Then excess bacteria can easily spread and reach your gums. This means you have a much higher chance of contracting gum disease.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, morning and night, and floss daily to maximize oral hygiene. This lowers your risk of gum disease so that you can better preserve your gum health.
Dry Mouth Complications
Stress will impact your body in many ways, including your digestive system. It slows down digestion, which means you will produce less saliva. As a result, you can experience dry mouth. This condition will feel uncomfortable, but it will also pose a threat to your gums.
A dry oral environment allows bacteria to travel with greater ease through your mouth, meaning you have an increased chance of contracting oral infections like gum disease. Lower this risk by drinking plenty of water and seeking stress relief. This way you can avoid risk factors like dry mouth that can lead to gum disease.