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Don’t Let Stress Impact Your Oral Health

Don’t Let Stress Impact Your Oral Health

While your McKinney family dentist loves his job and patients, there are some days that even those of us who love their job the most will feel the stress and anxiety that comes from work.

Many people respond poorly to the stresses of the workplace by engaging in unhealthy habits like over-eating and drinking, getting too little sleep, and smoking. These types of unhealthy behaviors not only create havoc on the size of our waistline, but can also negatively impact our gum health, which can lead to some seriously unpleasant consequences.

Research has shown that stress can make it harder for the body to fight off infection, including periodontal, or gum, disease.

A recent survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that half of adults in the U.S. over the age of 30 suffer from periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease and leading cause of permanent tooth loss in adults.

This startling number means that over 64 million Americans suffer from an untreated infection that could have serious consequences on their oral and overall health.

Gum Disease & Your Health

The primary cause of gum disease is the sticky oral biofilm known as plaque, but additional factors can also impact the health of your gums, including:

  • Age
  • Tobacco use
  • Genetics
  • Prescription medications that cause dry mouth as a side effect
  • Nightly teeth grinding or teeth clenching
  • Obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Stress
  • Other systemic diseases such as diabetes

Research has also found periodontal disease to be linked with a number of other diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. Researchers had long thought that oral bacteria are the common link between periodontal disease and these types of systemic disease in the body.

However, more recent studies have shown that inflammation may actually be the cause of this association. This suggests that by treating and preventing gum disease, your McKinney family dentist may actually be able to lower your risk of developing a range of serious health issues.

Additional research has also suggested that women may also have their health put at risk during pregnancy if they suffer from periodontal disease. Pregnant women who suffer from gum disease and/or periodontitis have a higher risk of delivering a premature birth or baby with a low-birth weight.

Any type of infection is a cause for concern during pregnancy because an infection may pose a health risk to the baby. The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) recommends that women considering a pregnancy should have a periodontal evaluation done prior to attempting conception.

“Early diagnosis is the best way to prevent periodontal disease,” states Dr. Steven Daniel, new president of the AAP. “The periodontist who are the experts in periodontal disease, its diagnosis and treatment can help determine if there is a problem and if so what the extend of the problem is and can work with the patient to deal with the problem early on when it’s relatively easy to take care of.”

Regular Dental Care is Key

While most of us face some type of stress during our daily lives, it’s important that we not neglect our oral health as a result.

From poor long-term health to a troubled pregnancy, gum disease can seriously impact more than just the health of our teeth and gums. Lowering our risk of gum disease is paramount to enjoying a lifetime of quality oral and overall health.

At our McKinney family dentistry, Dr. Lawrence protects the long-term health of our patients by conducting regular dental exams and cleanings.

Regular exams allow Dr. Lawrence the chance to spot the signs of gum disease early on while still easily treatable.

Frequent cleanings allow our team of gentle dental hygienists the opportunity to remove plaque deposits from the surface of your teeth and along the gum line to successfully reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

Your oral health matters. By protecting the health of your teeth and gums you can ensure a healthier and happier life. There’s certainly no stress in that.

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