Stress, Depression and Periodontal Disease

Essay by nazaninsoUniversity, Bachelor'sA, July 2009

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The homeostasis of the human body can easily be disturbed by stress. Anxiety and stress can lower the capability of the immune system in response to prevention of disease. The human body even though so resilient, it can become very fragile while undergoing stress. The first articles I have chosen for this project will explain the correlation of stress to Periodontal Disease. In comparison, we will also look at the second article, which explains different coping mechanisms and how they can influence the effects and results of Periodontal Therapy. Researchers have gathered enough data to suggest that stress can make the body susceptible to gum disease.

Stress, Depression, Cortisol and Periodontal Disease, written by a panel of doctorsAmy E. Rosania, Kathryn G. Low, Cheryl M. McCormick, and David A. Rosania, suggeststhat that Stress and Depression and the release of Cortisol, a hormone released by the adrenalcortex can effect the progression of Periodontal Disease.

"This study included 45 patientsreferred by 3 dentists. Participants completed composite health, chronic stress, depression anddemographic questions and salivary cortical (CORT) was measured. A hygienist assessedthe magnitude of periodontal disease." (page 1). According to the authors, different typesof stress such as job stress, academic stress, marital stress, are also factors in the onset of thisdisease. The imbalance of the levels of Cortisol a stress hormone, can affect the immune response, lowering the host's resistance to the bacteria that causes gum disease. "Subjects with generalized aggressive periodontitis had significantly higher self reported depressionand loneliness than subjects with routine chronic periodontitis (RCP) and controls."(page 2).

The authors suggest that Depression as well as stress may also lead to behavioral alterations suchas smoking or a poor diet which can also have significant effects on the progression of periodontitis. Coping with Stress: Its Influence on Periodontal Therapy, also written by...