Economic stress affecting teeth, causing gum disease

December 11th, 2008 - 6:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) It may sound far fetched but stress due to economic recession is harming dental structure and causing gum diseases, doctors in the national capital said Thursday. “Growing economic stress among people has a deep damaging impact on teeth and heart. Recent studies have found that financial stress is one of the major cause of increasing dental problems,” said Mahesh Verma, principal of the Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences (MAIDS).

“Stress due to financial crisis gives rise to gum disease, which may even lead to more serious health problems,” Verma said at the ongoing Dental Health Fair here.

Group Captain Rajesh Madan, a dental surgeon with the Indian Air Force (IAF), said: “Stress damages dental structures quickly and severely.”

“The damage starts when chemical triggers block your immune function, and deplete your teeth supporting bones of calcium and other necessities in order to maintain blood mineral levels,” Madan added.

“Economic stress may lead to people grinding more teeth and (thus) damages dental health. With the result that affected people require more extensive corrective procedures such as dental implants or gum grafting,” Verma said.

“Moreover, recent studies have found that gum infection may contribute to the development of heart disease, increase the risk of stroke, increase the risk of premature births in women, and further compromise the health of people living with diabetes and respiratory disease,” he warned.

Suchin Bajaj, director of private Altius Healthcare, said the result of stress can be tooth infections leading to problems in the coronary arteries of the heart.

He said stress emanating from economic slow down lead to mouth sores and gum disease, and encourages teeth and their support bones to decay.

“Nail biting and tooth grinding wear out protective enamel and supporting jaw tissues, which multiply the risk of infection,” Bajaj added.

A seven-day dental health fair is going on at the Maulana Azad Medical College in the capital.

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