Oral and dental considerations of combat-induced PTSD: A descriptive study

Nirit Tagger-Green*, Carlos Nemcovsky, Natan Gadoth, Omer Cohen, Roni Kolerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Stress experienced as an intense and traumatic event can increase the odds of orofacial morbidities that may affect oral, periodontal, or masticatory system health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the dental, periodontal, oral, and bruxism situation among Israeli posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) war veterans. Method and materials: This retrospective cohort pilot study aimed to examine the oral and facial manifestations in 71 Israeli veterans with combat PTSD. All patients underwent full dental, oral, and periodontal examination. Signs of parafunctional activity were also evaluated, accompanied by a full set of periapical and/or panoramic radiographs. Results: The patients were 37 to 77 (mean 60.7 ±10.15) years of age and presented a poor overall oral hygiene status (Plaque Index 0.75 ±0.26). All patients (100.0%) suffered from periodontal disease, and most of them (66.0%) were severely affected. A significant correlation was found between signs of parafunctional activity and severe periodontal disease (P = .035). The patients had a high decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) score (20.06 ±8.86), which was mainly attributed to the large number of "filled" (F) teeth (11.95 out of 20.06). The DMFT score was significantly lower among light smokers than among heavy, former, or nonsmokers (P = .012). Most patients (90%) had signs and symptoms of parafunctional activities. A significant positive and dose-dependent correlation was found between smoking and periodontal disease (P = .012). Conclusions: An association was found between combat PTSD and oral, dental, and periodontal morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-685
Number of pages8
JournalQuintessence International
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2020


  • Combat PTSD
  • Mandibular torus
  • Oral hygiene
  • Oral medicine
  • Periodontal disease
  • Tooth wear


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