Beautiful, rich, healthy – is it all a matter of luck? People who make their lives dependent on fate are doing their health a disservice. At least not their oral health. According to a study, fatalists lose their teeth earlier.

You know them from advertising posters that bared the perfect row of sparkling white teeth in a so-called toothpaste smile. If Photoshop didn’t help, then at least bleach, right? They exist, these people who are outrageously lucky to have uncomplicated teeth. Teeth that are not on first terms with the dentist’s drill and for which pain is a foreign concept. Most others are not so lucky, have mouths full of fillings and hitting ice on a tooth has an effect similar to that of a stun gun. But why do some have a full set of teeth by the end and others have the first gaps early on? Researchers want to find out that our attitude towards fate plays a role. At the EuroPerio10 Congress of the European Federation of Periodontology, researchers presented a study involving 79 patients who came to the Bretonneau University Hospital in Paris for a periodontal examination. On average, the participants were 46 years old, and around two thirds were women. The results once again indicate that psychological factors have an impact on dental health and that therapies could lead to an improvement. For the study, the research team collected data on lifestyle, income, education and marital status, among other things. The participants answered a psychological questionnaire, and they were also checked for stress levels and possible depression.

Fatalism is bad for your teeth

The research team found that people who take control of their own lives have fewer dental problems than people who give up control and believe that luck or coincidence determines the developments in their lives. The fatalists lost three teeth on average, two more than those who believe in themselves instead of fate. A similar gradient was seen in gum health. Those who believed in fate suffered more often from severe periodontitis. If this is not treated, in extreme cases this can lead to the teeth not only starting to wobble but also falling out. However, the researchers were not only able to identify fatalism as a factor. In addition, these patients were more likely to be depressed, according to study author Sebastien Jungo from the University of Paris. He says the findings should encourage dentists to “assess the emotional state of their patients and refer them to appropriate psychological care if necessary.”

The realization that the psyche plays a part in oral health is not new. More and more studies are pointing in this direction. Mental and psychosomatic complaints such as stress, depression or strokes of fate have an impact on physical well-being. For example, they can lead to tooth stress or teeth grinding. The German Dental Association estimates that one fifth of patients with complaints in dental practices are mentally impaired or psycho-social factors play a role in the occurrence and progression of the complaints.

Quellen:European Federation of Periodontology,News Medical