Interdisciplinary Department of Medicine, Dental school, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
Objectives: Although there is nowadays wide agreement on bacteria being the main etiologic agents of periodontal disease, their sole presence cannot damage periodontal tissues in all subjects. This suggests that an individual response and an adaptation to a certain quantity of bacterial biofilm can occur without the disease progressing and vice versa. Depression, stress and anxiety have not been confirmed yet as risk conditions but, in some observational studies, they have been identified as potential risk factors of periodontal disease. The current study aims at investigating the role which these psychological disorder have in the onset and progression of advanced stage periodontitis.
Materials and methods: The case selection was carried out by means of clinical and radiological periodontal assessment involving a total of 108 subjects, both male and female, aged between 24 and 67. Patients were then divided in two groups of 54 patients each: the first group included patients with severe periodontal disease, the second group was formed by periodontally healthy subjects. Clinical assessment was performed by a sole examiner who selected and divided periodontopathic patients from non-periodontopathic ones. From the current study were excluded: patients with systemic pathologies; smokers; patients taking antidepressant drugs; pregnant women.
Results: For what concerns depression, in the group of periodontopathic patients it was found that the 62.5% of them were depressed, against the 38.86% in the group of periodontally healthy subjects. For the other two psychological conditions taken into consideration, anxiety and stress, it emerged a different percentage of subjects with anxiety in the periodontal group (31.48%) against healthy controls (20.37%).
Conclusions: For each of the psychological variables considered (depression, anxiety, stress), a significant correlation could be observed with periodontal disease, it can be therefore be suggested that the importance these disturbs have in the onset and progress of the dental disease which supports the existing available data in literature.
The innovative aspect of this research was the focus on the assessment of compliance, monitoring the ability of periodontal patients to follow oral hygiene instructions aiming at the improving and keeping their own periodontal condition, even though this takes more time than the control group.
Keywords: Psychopatologic Traits, Adult Chronic Periodontitis