Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that may develop after experiencing or witnessing a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. Individuals with PTSD have demonstrated increased levels of stress hormones that initiate an inflammatory response. The inflammatory response releases chemicals that assist in the breakdown of the periodontium. Individuals with PTSD are more likely to create their own coping mechanisms that may include tobacco use, alcohol abuse, and poor diet. The oral effects of these unhealthy habits include loss of tooth structure, gingival inflammation, xerostomia, periodontal disease, and oral cancer. Bruxism may occur due to the untreated stress. Replacing unhealthy PTSD coping mechanisms with alternative methods aimed at reducing stress may improve systemic and periodontal inflammation.
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