Stress Creates A Mouthful Of Trouble

Too much stress not only ruins your day, it can also create a mouthful of trouble! Research has repeatedly shown the link between stress and gum disease.

We live in an in the age of anxiety where stress is often triggered by upsets such as financial trouble and chronic illness. How prevalent is it? Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).

Discoveries by researchers at Tufts University have uncovered new theories that bolster the belief that stress is linked to periodontal disease:

The first, more obvious, theory is behavioral. When people are under stress they tend to neglect healthy behaviors, eat sugary foods, smoke, drink more alcohol and brush and floss less. All of this promotes bacteria growth.

The second, more surprising reason was biological. When the body is under stress, it produces more of the hormone cortisol. When produced peripherally in the gums, it increases inflammation and therefore increases the progression of gum disease.

Reducing anxiety seems to be one of the obvious solutions. Will dentists be prescribing yoga and warm baths in the future, in addition to flossing and brushing?

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