How Stress Can Contribute to Chronic Disease

Stress is an inevitable side affect of work for many of us. No matter how much we may enjoy our jobs – the deadlines, the workloads, the interpersonal demands – all of that plus more, can take a toll on us.

How Stress Can Contribute to Chronic Disease

In fact, studies have revealed that stress can wreak havoc on our immune system, cause changes in our personalities, disturb our sleep, and contribute to chronic disease like periodontal disease which has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease and even poses a risk for pregnant women.

I had my 6-month teeth cleaning last month, and I was surprised and disheartened to see that I am beginning to have some gum recession. Most likely this is from grinding my teeth at night. When life gets stressful, I know that I tend to grind my teeth in my sleep. No, that’s not a good thing!

Incoming president of The American Academy of Periodontology Dr. Steven Daniel, DDS, board-certified periodontal surgeon who has been practicing periodontics for more than 30 years, shared with me important information on the effects of stress on our physical and psychological health and explain exactly how stress can contribute to periodontal disease.

I find it fascinating the strong connection between gum health and overall health. Gum disease hurts much more than your smile! The bacteria can spread throughout the body causing damage to many areas.  Good oral health, brushing, flossing, teeth cleanings and keeping stress at bay is vital to overall health.

When it all gets stressful, it is often because my life and work balance has gotten a bit wonky. Trying to keep it all balanced sometimes feels like I am walking along a tightrope. I shared my tips to help me regain balance when it gets extra crazy in 5 Tips For Finding Work Life Balance. 

Meditation, massage, and bubble baths are also a few of my go-tos to help me deal with the stress of life.

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The important thought to keep in mind is that stress can contribute to chronic disease, so it is vitally important to keep the stress of life in check.

What are some of your go-to strategies and coping skills to deal with stress?



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