Chronic stress, depression and cortisol levels are potential risk indicators for periodontal disease

May 31, 2006

CHICAGO - Caregivers of people under psychological or physical stress, as well as those with the conditions themselves, should not overlook their oral health, according to a new study printed in the Journal of Periodontology.

The results from the study suggest that being a caregiver to relatives with dementia, hypercortisolemia (overproduction of cortisol) or stress were associated with elevated plaque levels and increased gingival bleeding in a study that examined adults aged 50 years and older.

"We found that short term psychological stress was a risk indicator to elevated plaque levels and long term physical stress was a risk indicator to gingivitis," said Fernando N. Hugo, DDS and Faculty of Dentistry of Piracicaba, Brazil. "These findings support the health impact of psychosocial risk factors from chronic stress, which may lead to malfunction of some biological functions."

The study indicates that the demanding task of caregiving, usually associated with increased stress, may also be a risk factor for poor oral hygiene. These findings point out that stress may contribute to a disinterest in performing oral hygiene.

"Flossing and brushing the teeth and gums had a protective effect against plaque and gingivitis," said Kenneth A. Krebs, DMD and AAP president. "That said, future research is needed to explore the relationship between stress and oral hygiene negligence."

In this study, 230 individuals were evaluated, and almost 52 percent were caregivers. Caregivers of patients with dementia were examined because they represent a well-known group suffering from the impacts of chronic stress on human health and immune functions. The results are among the first in literature to suggest that caregivers of relatives with dementia are at risk of having more plaque and gingivitis than non-caregivers.
-end-
The American Academy of Periodontology is an 8,000-member association of dental professionals specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth and in the placement and maintenance of dental implants. Periodontics is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Kerry Gutshall
The American Academy of Periodontology
Phone: 312.573.3243
Fax: 312.573.3234
http://www.perio.org

EDITOR'S NOTE: A copy of the JOP article "Chronic Stress, Depression and Cortisol Levels as Risk Indicators of Elevated Levels of Plaque and Gingivitis in Individuals Aged 50 and Over." is available to the media by contacting the AAP Public Affairs Department at 312/573-3243. The public and/or non-AAP members can view a study abstract online, and the full-text of the study may be accessed online for $20.00 at http://www.joponline.org/.

American Academy of Periodontology

Related Dementia Articles from Brightsurf:

The danger of Z-drugs for dementia patients
Strong sleeping pills known as 'Z-drugs' are linked with an increased risk of falls, fractures and stroke among people with dementia, according to new research.

The long road to dementia
Alzheimer's disease develops over decades. It begins with a fatal chain reaction in which masses of misfolded beta-amyloid proteins are produced that in the end literally flood the brain.

Why people with dementia go missing
People with dementia are more likely to go missing in areas where road networks are dense, complicated and disordered - according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

PTSD may double risk of dementia
People who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are up to twice as likely to develop dementia later in life, according to a new study by UCL researchers, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Dementia education
School-based dementia education could deliver much needed empathy and understanding for older generations as new research from the University of South Australia shows it can significantly improve dementia knowledge and awareness among younger generations.

Building dementia friendly churches
A project to help church communities become more 'dementia friendly' has had a significant impact across the country.

A "feeling" for dementia?
A research team led by the DZNE concludes that personal perception can be an important indicator for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease.

New biomarker for dementia diagnosis
Medical researchers in the UK and Australia have identified a new marker which could support the search for novel preventative and therapeutic treatments for dementia.

Digital solutions for dementia care
Telehealth delivery of dementia care in the home can be as effective as face-to-face home visit services if carers and recipients take advantage of the technologies available, Australian researchers say.

Despite a marked reduction in the prevalence of dementia, the number of people with dementia is set to double by 2050 according to new Alzheimer Europe report
Today, at a European Parliament lunch debate, Alzheimer Europe launched a new report presenting the findings of its collaborative analysis of recent prevalence studies and setting out updated prevalence rates for dementia in Europe.

Read More: Dementia News and Dementia Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.