Friday, September 21, 2012
Dreaming of better gum health
How much sleep did you get last night? If it was six hours or less, you could be at increased risk for gum disease progression. A 2007 study in the Journal of Periodontology looked at the way lifestyles affect a person’s periodontal health and found that lack of sleep was one of the biggest factors in gum disease. People who had slept at least seven hours were less likely to experience advancement of the disease, leading researchers to speculate that a lack of sleep may reduce the body’s immune response, which then contributes to gum disease progression.
Another major lifestyle factor was smoking. More than 40 percent of participants in the study who experienced a progression of gum disease were smokers. This may seem obvious, but it reinforces the idea that tobacco use affects far more areas of a person’s health than just the lungs. Other influential factors identified in the study included high stress levels and daily alcohol consumption. Many of these factors are related, so it’s important to be self-aware. For instance, high stress levels may cause a person to lose sleep, which can then lead to progression in gum disease.
By fixing one contributing factor, other problems may be lessened, as well. Your True Care Advantage dental plan dentist can help you identify signs of periodontal disease and show you specific ways to stop it from progressing. By making changes to your lifestyle, you can quickly get back on the path to oral health.