Although you may see stress as something negative and unwelcome, it is actually a crucial survival strategy. It is your body's natural defense mechanism in the presence of danger. All of your systems switch to "fight-or-flight" mode, mobilizing their resources to either assist you defeat the threat or flee from it as swiftly as possible.
As the physician who first recognized the stress reaction, Hans Selye, once penned, “To eliminate stress completely would mean to destroy life itself.”
The problem is that we now live in a world where there are far more pressures than there were for generations before us to deal with. Financial constraints, an irate boss, a risky commuter, social media flame fights, and other such situations are significantly less perilous than, example, running into a hungry mountain lion or engaging an adversary in combat.
However, our physiological reaction is the same.
And in our always-on, 24/7 world, where we can receive unending streams of negative, ominous, or challenging news by simply looking at our phone, it's frequently constant. Chronic stress causes the body to be always aware and prepared to respond.
The effects on your health are severe. It promotes chronic inflammation, for starters. Inflammation is beneficial under typical conditions, such as stress. It's an indication that your body is battling an infection or recovering from a wound. However, if it persists even when there is no threat, it paves the way for a host of health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
According to research, persistent stress actually impairs the body's capacity to control the inflammatory response.
And gum disease is included in that.
In fact, science has shown a definitive link between persistent psychological stress and gum disease over time. In actuality, one of the main risk factors for periodontitis is ongoing stress. (The others are, exercise, diet/nutrition, lack of sleep, and, most importantly, smoking/tobacco usage.)
You may alter this behavior, like you can with any other risk factors, to reduce your risk. To get you started, consider these suggestions: