Have you been feeling overwhelmed lately? High levels of stress can increase strain on your body which may take its toll on the different bodily systems, including your oral health. You might not realize that stress can have a specific impact on your gums.
This connective tissue that keeps your teeth in place can cause significant damage to the look and feel of your smile if it suffers damage from infections like gum disease. Reducing stress can help you protect your gums as well as the rest of your smile.
Knowing more about the potential dangers of increased stress on your gums can make you more motivated to address this risk factor. So read on to discover three ways that stress can prove detrimental to your gum health.
Weakened Immune System Heightens Risk of Infections
When you feel stressed, your body automatically produces a hormone called cortisol that gives your immune system a boost during this period of strain. However, under prolonged stress, your body adjusts to cortisol levels so that your immune system cannot react to bacteria and germs as it should. As a result, you could see a higher risk of contracting infections, including oral ones like gum disease.
Gum disease presents with inflamed and irritated gums in its early stages. As the infection progresses, bacteria will eat away at the teeth and jawbone as well, which can put you in danger of tooth loss and other irreversible dental damage.
Protect your gums by addressing risk factors for periodontal disease like high stress levels. Discuss preventative oral health care and more with a top dentist in Tulsa by scheduling an appointment today.
Decline in Salvia Production Leads to Dry Mouth
Stress will impact many functions of the body, including digestion. When you feel stressed, the body will slow digestion, and you will produce less saliva as a result. This can leave you with the uncomfortable feeling of dry mouth.
But a dry oral environment is more than just annoying. Oral bacteria can easily spread when the mouth is dry. This increases your risk of gum disease and other oral infections.
You can drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and relieve dry mouth. But you should also address underlying contributors to this condition like high levels of stress if you want to preserve your smile.
Feeling Overwhelmed May Mean You Neglect Oral Hygiene
If you feel stressed, you may stop some of your usual routines in an effort to relieve some of the overwhelmed feelings and redirect your focus. However, oral hygiene should not be one of these regimens that you skip.
The process of brushing your teeth and flossing removes harmful particles from your smile that will otherwise encourage bacterial spread. If plaque remains on your teeth, bacteria can easily travel to your gums and infect them.
Clearing away this plaque with consistent, thorough oral hygiene is crucial to good gum health. So do not skip this regimen. Learn more about periodontal care by giving your dentist a call.