Purpose: Dental symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients include a majority of painful temporomandibular joint and masticatory muscle findings, restricted mouth opening, and pronounced attritions. Traumatic occlusal force resulting in injury of the teeth and/or the periodontal attachment apparatus may exceed the adaptive capacity of the individual person or site. This observational cross-sectional study in soldiers with PTSD and a non-PTSD control group after military deployments aimed to evaluate a possible relationship between bruxism and periodontal diagnosis.
Keywords: attrition, bruxism, periodontitis, PTSD, tobacco
Materials and Methods: Ninety-six in-patients and 27 out-patients (21 women, 102 men) with specialist-confirmed PTSD and bruxism after up to 17 foreign assignments, and 36 male non-PTSD controls with up to 15 foreign assignments underwent general dental, functional, and periodontal examinations.
Results: All three groups showed no statistically significant differences in terms of age (34.8 ± 8.6 years), number of teeth (n: 26.3 ± 3.4), status of dentition (DMFT 9.7 ± 6.6), incidence of periodontitis (36%) and recessions (n: 5.8 ± 5.7). From the control group to the out-patient group to the in-patient group, the proportion of smokers and tobacco use increased statistically significantly, as did the extent of attrition. In the in-patient group, with statistically significantly lower educational levels, the number of perceived prophylaxis sessions was statistically significantly reduced in the last two years.
Conclusions: Taking into account the retrospective recording of the last traumatic event, the average time of five years until therapy does not seem to have any consequences for the frequency and severity of inflammatory periodontal disease, recession, and wedge-shaped defects in soldiers with bruxism in PTSD, regardless of the need for in-patient or out-patient treatment.