Saturday

Stress can play a role in periodontal disease.

The recent review of literature on the relationship between stress and periodontal disease shows a strong correlation between them (Abstract*1). Even though many studies did not qualify because they did not meet the selection criteria, 57% of the studies which qualified show positive correlation between psychosocial factors/ stress and periodontal disease. In another study researchers found that hydrocortisone (Cortisol) which is increased in the body at times of stress, can upregulate certain matrix metalloproteinase and tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases expression in the gingival fibroblasts (Gums), which may indicate the part of mechanism of periodontal breakdown during stress (Abstract*2).
As a faculty in the dental school I had conducted a pilot study in which I found that the students undergoing academic exams were under more stress and exhibited more gingival inflammation as compared to other students (unpublished).
According to PD Miller, individuals with stress are less attentive towards their oral hygiene habits and are prone to nicotine , alcohol or drug abuse (read more here).I have spoken about reviewing with care when relating general health and periodontal health in my previous post last week (read here).
So you what you should do next time you see a stressed out patient in your clinic.

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