184 W. Main Street, Suite 200 Collegeville, PA 19426 610-228-4366
2685 Euclid Ave. South
Williamsport, PA 17702
570-505-6908

Philadelphia, PA Dental Implants Expert Draws Connection between Stress and Oral Health

  • July 15, 2010

COLLEGEVILLE AND PHILADELPHIA, PA – Scientists and doctors who study the effects of stress on the body have determined that it can disrupt nearly every system in the body, and the mouth is not immune.

Published literature has identified a relationship between periodontal disease and stress, said Philadelphia, PA dental implants expert Dr. David DiGiallorenzo.

Fifty-seven percent of the studies included in a review published in a past issue of the Journal of Periodontology showed that there is a definite relationship between periodontal disease and depression, stress, loneliness and anxiety, according to the American Academy of Periodontology.

“Researchers continue to study the relationship between periodontal disease and stress, but most experts agree that patients who can minimize their stress by learning methods of better coping with it stand a good chance of reducing their risk of getting periodontal disease,” said DiGiallorenzo, a Philadelphia, PA periodontist.

In addition to increasing the risk of periodontal disease, chronic stress can raise blood pressure, increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, suppress the immune system, contribute to infertility, and make people age faster. Long-term stress can even rewire the brain, leaving people more vulnerable to depression and anxiety, the AAP article stated.

“There is a great deal of information out there that shows the stress hormone cortisol can have adverse effects on the immune system,” DiGiallorenzo said.

This connection is important when discussing periodontal disease because periodontal disease is a chronic infection mediated by the immune system and modified by risk factors including genetics, smoking, diabetes, medications and stress to name a few examples, said the Philadelphia, PA periodontics expert. Reflexology, exercise, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, a diet low in saturated fat and high in vegan components, and immune enhancement will help combat cortisol levels.

A study in the July 2007 issue of the Journal of Periodontology found that higher cortisol levels can lead to more destruction of the bone and gums due to periodontal diseases . Treating periodontal disease is important because if left untreated, it can lead to tooth and bone loss.  As well, research has indicated a relationship between cardiovascular risk, diabetes and other systemic diseases effected by oral infections.

DiGiallorenzo offers the laser assisted new attachment procedure known as LANAP or laser periodontal treatment for treating gum disease. This is a no-cut, no-sew method to detoxify infections and stimulate repair of the gums and bone.

Stress Relief
DiGiallorenzo educates patients on the connection between stress and periodontal health, and helps them reduce their stress levels by offering a calm, comfortable dental spa setting that provides reiki, reflexology, massage, aromatherapy and color therapy to help patients relax and to create an optimum healing experience.

Reiki is a Japanese technique for relaxation and stress reduction that also promotes healing. It is performed by “laying on hands” and is based on the concept that there is an unseen life force energy that flows through people. People whose life force energy is low are more prone to feeling stressed out or getting sick.

Reflexology is performed by applying pressure to the hands and feet with deliberate hand, thumb and finger techniques without using lotion or oil. It is based on a system of zones and reflex areas that reflect an image of the body on the hands and feet.
Aromatherapy- the study of scents used in a therapeutic manner- is used in the dental spa setting for physical and emotional health and well-being.

Color therapy is a natural method of healing that taps into a person’s energetics and biochemistry to assist in regulation. It also can relieve stress by using a variety of colors through visualization, colored glass, colored oils or colored silk in a therapeutic setting.

“We have had numerous patients go into these types of therapies as skeptics and come out of them as believers,” DiGiallorenzo said. “There is a variety of ways to assist patients in stress relief and we are willing to employ whatever methods necessary to help our patients reduce stress and improve their periodontal health.”

Learn More
If you would like to learn more about the connection between stress and periodontal disease or you would like to schedule an appointment with one of the  Williamsport and Collegeville, PA periodontists in Dr. David DiGiallorenzo’s office, please call 610-228-4366 in Collegeville; 570-505-6908 in Williamsport; or visit his Web site:  http://www.perioimplants.us/.

About Dr. David Digiallorenzo
Dr. David Digiallorenzo, or “Dr. D,” graduated from Temple University School of Dentistry in 1993 and completed a specialty in periodontics and dental implantology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995.

He is a past associate clinical professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Periodontics. He teaches nationally and internationally and is a regular contributor to dental literature.

Dr. D’s private practice in suburban Philadelphia concentrates on laser, aesthetic and reconstructive periodontics, dental implantology, advanced reconstructive case management and TMJ treatment. It is a unique dental spa with two full-time massage therapists that specialize in reflexology, reiki, massage, aromatherapy and homeopathy and nutrition. This combination creates a relaxed, optimal healing response.

Dr. D has two office locations: 184 W. Main St., Ste. 200, in Collegeville, PA; and 121 E. Fourth St. in Williamsport, PA.

© 2010 Sinai Marketing and Dr. David Digiallorenzo.