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Stress can negatively impact dental health
Updated: 2/16/2009 2:59:58 PM

Stress can negatively impact dental health The poor economy can apparently affect one's dental care routine, which may be the precursor to serious conditions in the future.

Dr. David Cochran, president of the American Academy of Periodontology, said stress from the current state of the economy may lead to harmful habits and to people ignoring regular dental care. To combat this, the dentist suggests regular exercise, eating a balanced diet and getting adequate sleep.

"Doing so can help maintain a healthy mouth and potentially help ward off other negative health concerns," Cochran said.

Such advice may be sound for people worried about their health expenses, especially for those who recently lost their jobs and may not have access to dental insurance.

A past study found preventing periodontal disease is one way to lower total health care expenses. The research found patients with severe periodontal disease had 21 percent higher health care costs compared to those who did not have the condition.

"In these stressful times I encourage my patients to pay even more attention to their teeth and gums. And in turn, since preventing gum disease may help reduce overall health care expenses, maintaining a healthy mouth may actually be a stress reliever in itself," Cochran said.

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