Many studies over the past several years have focused on the question, "Does Chronic Stress Impact Your Periodontal Health?" Since we all face stressful situations during our life, it is a good question to consider. This question also delves into the mind-body connection - the psychological having an effect on the physical and vice versa.
Studies were performed as far back as the 1940s and continue today. Many of them have shown that stress "downregulates" or hinders cellular immune response. The most common periodontal diseases related to this stress induced downregulation are gingivitis and periodontitis.
It is believed that stress and depression contribute to a state of chronic inflammation within the body. Stress also raises levels of cortisol in your body, which has been linked in studies to higher levels of tooth loss and deeper pockets between the gums and teeth.
Since Prevention is the key to so many aspects of good dental health, take a look at some things that you can do to help:
- Daily Relaxation: Taking time to relax has been proven to be effective in easing stress.
- Good Oral Hygiene: Letting your dental hygiene fall by the wayside has a detrimental effect on your oral health. You should also aim to quit smoking if you do smoke.
- Regular Dental Checkups: Getting regular checkups will help you to spot anything that's amiss before it gets out of hand.
Stress is something that affects all of us, but it can be managed. Each of us may manage it in a different way. Find out what works for you and always make sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!