Rotten Relationships, Rotten Teeth

It has been all over the dental news that oral health affects your overall health, but how does emotional health affect your oral health? A recent study has shown that people in emotionally abusive and physically aggressive relationships present with more cavities. The findings were strong and consistent: the more aggressive the relationship the more cavities. Today, your Lake Forest Dentist, Dr. Fondriest, shares what he has learned about rotten relationships and rotten teeth.

The Research Study

A 2005 study found that 90 percent of participants reported aggression in their family lives, whether it was between couples, between parent and child, or both. This statistic along with the fact that medical history has shown that dysfunctional family environments contribute to bad health sparked a new 2014 study. The 2014 study analyzed 135 mostly white, heterosexual married couples with an average annual income of $100, 000 and their elementary school children. The two-step analysis included an oral examination of the participants, and a questionnaire regarding physical and emotional aggression between family members, and harsh discipline. Observers also rated the couples’ aggressive behaviors during laboratory interactions.

The Results

For every above-average statistical increase in their partner’s behavior, women presented with 3.5 additional cavities and men with 5.3 additional cavities. For every above-average increase in the mothers’ aggressive behavior toward her partner, the children presented with an average of 1.9 additional cavities. Although the dysfunctional family situation probably played a role in inconsistent oral hygiene, another reason may be the impact of stress on the immune system leading to more decay.

About Your Lake Forest Dentist:

Aside from providing dependable family, general, and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.

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