Stress, inflammation and gum disease.

Stress is the body’s response to outside noxious, or perceived to be noxious, factors. It is protective, basic and an ancient response which is both innate and learned. It has been associated with inflammation. Periodontal ( gum ) disease is a common yet preventable disease which may act as an ideal model for understanding this connection better.

What is physiologic stress?

Physiological stress represents a wide range of physical responses that occur as a direct effect of a stressor causing an upset in the homeostasis of the body.

What is Emotional stress?

Emotional stress involves the experience of negative affect, such as anxiety, in the context of a physiological stress response that includes hormonal changes with cardiovascular involvement.

These days, stressors are all around us.

What causes stress?

The factor causing the stress is known a a stressor. Stressors can be seen as ‘common’ to the senses as overall as the stress response is similar whether it’s worry over a loved one, a broken leg or a trip to see the bank manager. Due to the commonality of the body’s response – “stressor” is a “stressor”.

What happens during stress?

Upon immediate disruption of either psychological or physical equilibrium the body responds by stimulating the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. is an equated response to constant adverse stimuli.

Psychological stress can down regulate the cellular immune response. Communication between the central nervous system and the immune system occurs via a complex network of bidirectional signals linking the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. Stress disrupts the homeostasis of this network, which in turn, alters immune function.

Is stress normal?

At one point or another everybody suffers from stress. Stress is compatible with good health, being necessary to cope with the challenges of everyday life. Good stress is termed Eustress, while bad stress is termed distress. The body’s response to the stressor can be seen as strain.

Problems start when the stress response is inappropriate to the intensity of the challenge.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is primarily the result of infections and inflammation of the gums and bone that surround and support the teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums can become swollen and red, and they may bleed. Untreated, inflammation is the primary driver of the progressive destruction of the tissues supporting the teeth.

The effect on stress on inflammation has been studied and an association noted. This is likely to cover all types of stress as the response remains common, and to all inflammatory diseases.

An interesting article below.

What does Periodontal Disease cause?

Periodontal disease remains the main cause of loss of teeth in developed countries.

Stress, inflammation and gum disease.

Association between periodontal disease and stress remains to be proven, which is partly due to lack of an adequate animal models and difficulty to quantifying the amount and duration of stress and also there are many factors influencing the incidence and severity of periodontal disease.

Nevertheless, more recent studies indicate that psychosocial stress represents a risk indicator for periodontal disease and should be addressed before and during treatment. because stress may modulate the host response to bacteria and influence the course and progression of periodontal disease.

The bigger picture of inflammation, stress and health.

Further understanding of the role of stress on inflammatory diseases is clearly critical for a better understanding of the achievement of disease regression. As disease also presents a stressor such a relationship may likely represent a system operating as a vicious cycle. That is one having a bidirectional component.

Because of this, the limitation of such a process, likely has impact upon aging and longevity too.

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