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Emotional Stress Can Contribute to Gum Disease

Nov 25, 2015 ● By Bernice Teplitsky

Sometimes when we are under prolonged stress, our gums become sore. Those that have spent months working on a big presentation or studying for a major exam may experience stress-induced gingivitis. A metastudy published in the Journal of Periodontology in 2007 found a strong positive correlation between stress and psychological factors such as distress, anxiety and depression and gum disease. If untreated, gum disease can lead to bad breath and bleeding, swollen gums and even loose teeth.

It is still unclear whether the connection has to do with hormonal changes that result from stress or from a relationship between stress and poor oral hygiene habits. In other words, people that are stressed may forget to go to the dentist regularly, floss daily, etc. They may also be more likely to smoke, use drugs or abuse alcohol.

So, if we find ourselves suddenly suffering from swollen and bleeding gums after never having any issues, try to take a moment and relax. Sometimes that’s the best thing for our oral health.


Dr. Bernice Teplitsky is a holistic dentist and owner of Wrigleyville Dental. Location: 3256 N. Ashland Ave., in Chicago. For more information, call 773-975-6666 or visit