Nav: Home

PTSD patients damage teeth through involuntary grinding, clenching, UB study finds

March 07, 2001

CHICAGO -- As if persons with posttraumatic stress disorder didn't have enough to worry about, research now shows their stress-related symptoms could be damaging their teeth. An oral health assessment of patients with long-term posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at the Buffalo VA Medical Center, conducted by periodontists from the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, revealed significant erosion of tooth surfaces among PTSD patients compared to controls.

The patients also had significantly more tooth plaque and gingivitis, a form of gum disease. Results of the research were presented here today (March 8, 2001) at the annual meeting of the American Association for Dental Research.

Teeth of PTSD patients showed increased erosion vertically and horizontally near the gum line, as well as on biting surfaces, said Sebastian Ciancio, D.D.S., professor and chair in the Department of Periodontology in the UB School of Dental Medicine and senior author on the study.

"This wearing away of the tooth surface along the neck of the tooth where the enamel meets the root surface may be caused by bruxism and clenching, which is high in this group of patients," he said. "The increased plaque and gingivitis suggests that these patients, perhaps because of their illness, do not carry out good oral hygiene compared to non-PTSD patients." Bruxism, or grinding the teeth, and clenching are involuntary actions that occur primarily during sleep.

The study involved 40 patients at the VA Medical Center diagnosed with 100 percent disability due to PTSD who came to the center's dental clinic for treatment. They were compared with 40 sequential dental clinic patients without PTSD. The PTSD patients were receiving standard treatment for their condition. All participants received an oral examination and evaluation of tooth wear.

Results showed significantly increased wear of tooth surfaces in three dimensions near the gum line -- vertical, horizontal and depth -- in those with PTSD compared to controls. Erosion vertically was more than three times greater, horizontally more than four times greater and more than 10 times greater in depth than controls. These results were consistent with documentation of habitual tooth grinding and clenching among persons with PTSD, Ciancio said.

"Dental patients with PTSD need additional treatment planning to prevent further loss of tooth surfaces," he said, "and need to work with their dentist to rehabilitate the damaged teeth."

Also participating in the study were Margaret Vitello, dental hygienist at the Buffalo VA Medical Center, and Guy Ditursi, D.D.S., clinical instructor in the UB Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences and Buffalo VA Medical Center.
-end-


University at Buffalo

Related Ptsd Articles:

Rare sleep disorder common among veterans with PTSD
Military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder or concussion suffer from a thrashing form of sleep behavior at a rate that is far higher than the general population, according to a new study by researchers at the VA Portland Health Care System and Oregon Health & Science University.
PTSD linked to increased risk of ovarian cancer
Women who experienced six or more symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in life had a twofold greater risk of developing ovarian cancer compared with women who never had any PTSD symptoms, according to a new study from researchers at Harvard T.H.
Brain stimulation for PTSD patients
University of Houston assistant professor of electrical engineering Rose T.
Veterans with depression and/or PTSD more likely to seek cardiac rehab
Veterans with PTSD and/or depression were more likely to use cardiac rehabilitation services.
Female firefighters more likely to suffer PTSD, contemplate suicide
Female firefighters are fighting for their mental health as they perform their grueling duties.
More Ptsd News and Ptsd Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...