As we head into the Christmas Season our lives can get hectic and we can become very overwhelmed. I have been a Dental Hygienist working in Hanover for over 19 years now, and one thing that has stood out to me is the oral health of our young College and University students at this time of year. There is a lot of stress during preparation for finals and getting projects in on time. This coupled with poor nutrition and lack of sleep can cause bleeding, sensitive gums. I suggest getting in for a complete dental hygiene examination and cleaning, along with the use of a power toothbrush two times a day and floss or soft picks one time a day. Get your vegetables and fresh fruit back into your diet and get caught up on your sleep. Stress is not limited to young adults it is a very prevalent aspect of our busy lifestyles. Stress effects our immune systems by making it work harder to keep you in balance, when this happens bacteria that is in your mouth that normally causes you no problems now can no longer be tolerated and an inflammatory response occurs.The little river around each of your teeth becomes ulcerated on the inside of the gums and causes bleeding. THIS IS NOT HEALTHY, if we had a sore on our hand that was bleeding continuously we would get ourselves to the doctor ASAP to figure out why. Please do the same with your oral health, when our gums are bleeding, the ulcerated gum tissue opens your whole body up to the bacteria floating in this river. What this means if the bacteria that causes your gums to bleed (some call it the plaque) is now going through your blood vessels all through your body. This is how Periodontal Disease (a disease of the gums and bone that supporting your teeth.) is being linked with many diseases such heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, diabetes, and low birth weight in babies to name a few. Your oral health IS linked to your overall health and seeing your hygienist regularly is essential.