Well I never… Stressed spelt backwards is desserts!
Do you find yourself reaching for the cupboard, fridge or take away when you are feeling stressed?
Research reveals that more than a quarter (28%) of British adults turn to sugar when put under stress. I can put myself in that 28% bracket, can you?
When stressed we release the hormone cortisol. This is part of the normal process when stress occurs, however if this doesn’t go away or the person gets stuck in the ‘on position’ the cortisol levels remain elevated. In turn cortisol can increase appetite.
In the past the link between stress and gum disease was weak. However research is emerging that indicates stress, depression and anxiety can contribute to the development of periodontitis- gum disease.
It has been shown that individuals with stress are more prone to develop periodontal disease than people without stress.
It is speculated that chronic stress contributes to the development of periodontitis due to both the negative effects stress has upon the body, and lifestyle behaviours which can sometimes occur. This includes things such as smoking, over eating and less compliance with preventative behaviour.
In addition, it has been found that patients experiencing stress had a slower recovery from periodontal treatment compared to subjects who are not experiencing stress.
The evidence is indicating that poor coping strategies may negatively impact on periodontal disease.
So what can we do to help manage stress?
• Recognise when you are starting to feel stressed- short temper, skin break outs, binge eating, irritable? Take the stress test: https://www.stress.org.uk/individual-stress-test/
• Meditation or breathing exercises- start with just a couple of minutes a day- Headspace app is a good starting point.
• Exercise – Even just a short burst of movement to get you moving each day can help.
• Social Support- Friends, Family, counsellors. Find your tribe: Surround yourself with people/groups/social media pages, who enjoy the same interests as you.
https://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT02487862, 2015 | added to CENTRAL: 31 May 2018 | 2018 Issue 5
Cochrane Library. Role of stress reduction protocol on outcome of periodontal therapy, online access.
The Good practitioners guide to periodontology
Eaton, K. Ower, P. (2015) Practical periodontics