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Assessment of Stress Levels and Oral Mucosal Changes Among Corporate Employees - An Observational Study

Author(s): Shabana Shaik, Asha Venkataswamy Reddy

Background

Psychological stress has been implicated in various oral diseases like Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS), Oral lichen planus (OLP), Burning mouth syndrome (BMS), Dry mouth, and Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs). People working in the corporate sector are particularly at high risk of developing stress and its associated disorders. Evaluation of psychological stress can be done by salivary alpha-amylase which has been considered as a biomarker of stress.

Aims

The present study aimed to assess the stress levels of people working in corporate sector and correlate with the salivary alpha-amylase levels and stress-related oral mucosal changes.

Methods

The study included 80 subjects within the age group of 25-60 years working in corporate sector, who were assessed for their stress levels using HAD Scale and accordingly categorized into a STUDY group and a CONTROL group. The STUDY group was composed of 40 subjects with HAD scores of more than 8 and the CONTROL group was composed of 40 subjects with HAD scores of 0-7 ensuring an equal distribution of genders in both groups. The subjects underwent a complete clinical examination to identify stress-related oral diseases. One ml of unstimulated saliva was collected from each subject that was quantified for salivary alpha-amylase. All the findings were subjected to statistical analyses.

Result

Statistically significant higher levels of salivary amylase levels were recorded in the study group. The salivary amylase levels were higher in females than in males. There was a positive correlation between stress levels and oral diseases. The commonly encountered stress-associated oral diseases in the study subjects were RAS, Dry mouth, and TMDs.

Conclusion

This study reiterates the correlation of salivary alpha-amylase and stress. The subjects in the study group demonstrated increased levels of salivary alpha-amylase and stress-associated oral diseases.

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