Stress can do so much to your body. We mainly consider what stress does to our emotional and mental health. However, stress can physically affect your body too. For example, stress can create tension in your muscles. This can lead to muscle soreness and headaches. Additionally, chronic stress can lead to serious health conditions. It can even impact your oral health.
There is a delicate balance within your oral environment. Unfortunately, stress can disrupt this harmony and damage your oral health. Stress can cause inflammation in your body, including your gums. As a result, the health of your gums can deteriorate due to stress.
Why Be Concerned About Your Gums
Although our teeth get much of the love, our gums are incredibly important for our oral health. Your gums help support your teeth and keep them in place. Healthy gums can indicate a healthy mouth. Yet, your gums are sensitive to bacteria and stress. Therefore, your gums can suffer from inflammation and potentially gums disease.
Gum disease begins as irritation along the gum line. In its earliest stages, you may see swelling or redness in your gums. Without treatment, gum disease will continue to advance. In late-stage gum disease, you can experience severe infection, gum recession, and tooth loss.
The Stress Connection
Stress can leave a physical toll on your body. When stressed, your body triggers physiological responses. Unfortunately, these responses can greatly impact your immune system and inflammatory processes. Throughout your body, you may experience pain or nausea. You might have headaches or even joint pain over time. Stress-induced inflammation can worsen existing gum issues. It can even contribute to its development.
One of the reasons your gums can suffer is due to your immune response. Chronic stress can weaken your immune response. This means that your body has a harder time fighting off illness or infection. As a result, stress can suppress your immune system, making it less effective in fighting off gum infections. This can leave you vulnerable to developing gum disease.
Additionally, stress can exaggerate existing inflammation. This means that if you have the beginnings of gum disease, stress can make it worse. Because stress amplifies the body’s inflammatory response, it can intensify gum inflammation.
Stress may quicken the progress of gum disease. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease. In this stage, you can reverse your gum issues. However, stress can expedite the progression of gum disease to a much more serious stage.
How Does This Happen?
One of the more common reasons for developing gum disease is poor oral hygiene. People with heavy amounts of stress are more likely to neglect their oral hygiene practices. This can further compromise their gum health. Additionally, poor oral hygiene from stress can worsen gum disease. As a result, you can get stuck in a harmful feedback loop.
If you notice signs of gum disease, it is crucial to seek help from your dentist. They can intervene to keep your gums healthy.