Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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A comparative analysis of the level of cortisol and the number of teeth extracted among patients undergoing routine dental extraction

O.T. Umeanuka, B.D. Saheeb, F.N. Chukwuneke, C.C. Uguru


Background and Objective: A postextraction comparative (cohort) study was carried out to determine whether the number of teeth extracted has an effect on salivary cortisol and by extension on stress.

Subjects and Methods: Sixty‑three consecutive patients comprising 27 males (42.9%) and 36 females (57.1%) with a male: female ratio of 1:1.3, divided into two groups of A and B with a mean age of 25.8 ± 4.9 years, and age range of 18–37 years took part in the study. Fifty (79.4%) of them in group A (22 males and 28 females) each had a tooth extracted while 13 (20.6%) in group B (5 males and 8 females) had two teeth removed. One ml of resting saliva was collected from each patient 10 minutes after the procedure and analyzed for cortisol. All extractions and sample collections were done between 10 am and 2 pm to standardize the study and control for the diurnal variation of cortisol. Statistical analysis of the generated data was performed by using Student’s t‑test on SPSS version 17.0. The level of significance was set at 0.05 with P < 0.05 regarded significant.

Result: The result showed mean salivary cortisol level of 12.914 ± 2.4684 ng/ml for group A and 12.108 ± 1.7192 ng/ml for group B though not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Females had more extractions in the two groups when compared with males. Male gender had a statistical significance difference (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: This study shows that the number of teeth extracted did not have effect on mean salivary cortisol, as a result two teeth extraction does not impart more stress to the patient when compared with one, and as such no additional adjuvant stress relieving measures are needed in two teeth extractions.

Keywords: Extraction, number of teeth, salivary cortisol, stress
AJOL African Journals Online