An Evaluation of the Academic Stress’ Affect on Periodontal Tissues

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Background/Aim: It has been discussed over the years whether emotional stress might be a risk factor for periodontal diseases. The correlation between periodontal disease and stress can still not be explained. Our aim was to evaluate the effects of academic stress on gingival tissues in a prospective design.

Material and Methods: The study population consisted of randomly selected 40 dental students. Clinical examinations of plaque (PI), gingival (GI) and sulcus bleeding (SBI) indices, probing pocket depth (PPD) and gingival crevicular fluid flow rate were performed along with State-Trait Anxiety Inventory at three different periods of the school year. Measurements were recorded one month before the finals (1st period), during the final exams (2nd period), and two months after the final exams (3rd period).

Results: The changes in mean values of all parameters except plaque and pocket depth between the final and control terms were statistically significant. There was a significant correlation between gingival index and stress, plaque, pocket depth, and sulcus bleeding indices at 1st period. There was a significant correlation between gingival index and crevicular fluid at 2nd period. There was a significant correlation between gingival index and plaque, and sulcus bleeding indices at 3rd period.

Conclusions: The present results support the hypothesis that academic stress is a significant risk factor for gingival and periodontal inflammation.

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