As if we all needed another reason to dislike stress: According to research, there may be a connection between stress and periodontal disease.
Interestingly enough, the connection between stress and gum disease is not direct — just because you have stress doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get periodontitis — but stress can be considered a risk indicator. What connects the two? Lifestyle choices that we make while under stress, and how that stress affects our immune system together do.
The Connection Between Stress and Gum Disease
Emotional stress and anxiety can lead to less-than-healthy behaviors. Neglecting oral hygiene, making poor diet choices, and using unhealthy coping mechanisms like smoking can be considered risk factors contributing to gum disease.
Combine those unhealthy behaviors with a lowered immune response (stress has been shown to weaken our immune systems) and increased inflammation in the body, thanks to elevated cortisol (cortisol is a hormone that controls our stress levels), have the potential to increase risk for gingivitis and bleeding gums.
Thankfully, there are many ways for us to ease and combat stress, as well as gum disease.
Simple Ways to Ease Stress
Check In With Your Stress Level Daily
It can be very easy to forget to take some time to yourself during the day. To help you get into the habit, set a reminder each day to take inventory of your stress levels and to check in to see if you are providing adequate care for yourself. Proactive acts of self-care, such as interacting with friends, exercising, taking a 20-minute break from work, or carving out time to meditate, are a few simple strategies to help keep stress levels regulated.
Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin (aka It’s OK to Say No)
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s very easy to feel pressured to say “yes” to everything. However, spreading yourself too thin can create disturbances in sleep, concentration, and mood. Truly prioritizing your time and energy can help cut down on flustered and overwhelmed feelings that may come along with doing too much.
Be Prepared For the Pitfalls of Stress
Taking precautionary measures before stress hits can help keep your physical and mental health strong. You can do this by getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and focusing on healthy habits (like daily exercise). While brushing twice a day, for two minutes a day, is a great way to fight back against cavities, brushing twice a day with Parodontax Complete Protection also helps prevent bleeding gums (which can be a sign of gingivitis, the beginning stage of gum disease). When your teeth are healthy, clean, and strong, it’s one fewer thing to stress about!