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The study found that tooth grinding is a frequent condition among people with PTSD

The study found that tooth grinding is a frequent condition among people with PTSD

Its prevalence in the general population ranges from 8% to 30%.

The study, which included clinical examinations of 76 patients and a control group, highlights the importance of cooperation between dentists and psychiatrists to diagnose both health problems more accurately.

PTSD was first diagnosed in the United States among war veterans, but has since also been identified in victims of urban violence. It is estimated that about 4% of people exposed to violent or accidental events, such as combat, torture, near-death, stray bullets, natural disasters, serious injuries, sexual assault, kidnapping, etc., suffer from PTSD.
“Given that more than half of the population of the metropolitan area of ​​São Paulo, Brazil has experienced some type of urban trauma, a proportion similar to that found in areas of civil conflict, it is very important to understand the potential psychological effects,” said Yuan-Bang Wang, the penultimate author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Human Rights. Psychiatry at the University of São Paulo School of Medicine (FM-USP).
Symptoms of PTSD include recurring flashbacks, negative emotional state, self-destructive behavior, disturbed sleep with nightmares and dissociation (altered consciousness, memory, identity, emotion, perceptions of the environment and control of behavior), among others. There have not been many studies on orofacial pain and teeth grinding as symptoms of PTSD.
In this study, patients diagnosed with TDSP at the FM-USP Psychiatric Institute underwent a clinical examination to evaluate their oral health. According to the researchers, in addition to self-reporting teeth grinding, they also had a lower pain threshold after the test.
“Oral hygiene has not been shown to be associated with the problem,” said Ana Cristina de Oliveira Solis, first author of the article. “Gum examination, which included measuring bacterial plaque and gingival bleeding [ou sangramento à sondagem]showed that PTSD patients and controls had a similar level of oral health. However, patients with PTSD experience more pain after the examination.

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Multidisciplinary treatment
According to researchers, tooth grinding is no longer considered an isolated symptom, but rather evidence of a larger problem. “Our study showed that PTSD can manifest orally, in bruxism and in a higher level of pain after a clinical dental examination. This requires joint work by psychiatrists, psychologists and dentists in screening and treating both health conditions,” Solis said.
Dentists should take into account the patient's self-reported pain during clinical examinations and consider the possibility that the patient may have undiagnosed psychological problems.
“If a patient has had a traumatic experience, they may feel embarrassed to talk about it or see a therapist. On the other hand, the habit of going to the dentist is more common and frequent. Tools should be used in routine patient care, and patients should be advised to seek help,” she said. “Therapeutic”.
Psychiatrists can ask patients with PTSD about orofacial symptoms, such as bruxism, muscle pain, and TMJ pain, and, if necessary, refer them to a dentist for multidisciplinary treatment to improve their quality of life.

Source: Medical Express / FAPESP

Image: Unsplash/CCO public domain