Stress may leave your mouth a mess

August 8, 2007

A literature review published in the August issue of the Journal of Periodontology saw a strong relationship between stress and periodontal diseases; 57% of the studies included in the review showed a positive relationship between periodontal diseases and psychological factors such as stress, distress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

“More research is needed to determine the definitive relationship between stress and periodontal diseases,” said study author Daiane Peruzzo, PhD. “However, patients who minimize stress may be at less risk for periodontal diseases.”

Researchers speculate that the hormone cortisol may play a role in the possible connection between stress and periodontal diseases. A study in the July issue of the JOP found that increased levels of cortisol can lead to increased destruction of the gums and jaw bone due to periodontal diseases. It is well known that periodontal diseases, left untreated, can ultimately lead to bone loss or tooth loss.

“Individuals with high stress levels tend to increase their bad habits, which can be harmful to periodontal health. They are less attentive to their oral hygiene and may increase their use of nicotine, alcohol or drugs,” explained Preston D. Miller, Jr., DDS, and President of the American Academy of Periodontology. “Patients should seek healthy ways to relieve stress through exercise, balanced eating, plenty of sleep, and maintaining a positive mental attitude.”

Patients should to also keep in mind their “pocket size guide” to periodontal health; periodontal probing depths of one to two millimeters with no bleeding are not a concern but probing depths of three and four millimeters may need a more in depth cleaning called scaling and root planing. Probing depths in excess of 5mm may require more advanced treatment and patients should talk to their dental specialist.

Source: American Academy of Periodontology

Explore further: Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is a wise investment

Related Stories

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is a wise investment

February 6, 2009

Faced with plummeting investments and an unsteady job market, many Americans are feeling the effects of the recent economic crisis. In fact, a recent study by the American Psychological Association found that over 80 percent ...

Closer to an effective treatment for gum disease in smokers

May 11, 2009

Scientists in the USA have discovered why smokers may be more prone to chronic gum disease (periodontitis). One of the bacteria responsible for this infection responds to cigarette smoke - changing its properties and the ...

Oral/body inflammatory connection explained

July 9, 2009

Is your head where your heart is? It may be now. A strong connection between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been suggested in recent clinical studies. As many as 75 percent of adults in the United ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.