Can Relationships Rot Your Teeth?

familyHealthy, loving relationships can give you the emotional support you need, bring you happiness, and make for a peaceful and contented life. Bad relationships can cause emotional and physical stress, make you feel lonely, and cause constant upheaval. It’s important to have positive things in your life. Negativity and aggression can cause stress and affect your health in a number of ways. In fact, would you believe that bad relationships can rot your teeth?


Mouth-Body Link

It’s hardly a secret any more that the condition of your oral health can affect the health of your overall body. New links are being discovered all the time. But can the health of your mind and body affect your tooth health? Apparently so. It has been discovered that physically and emotionally abusive relationships can affect your dental health. People living in emotionally abusive and physically aggressive relationships have more cavities than their peers in healthy relationships.

The  Study

In 2014 a two-step analysis was done of 135 mostly white, heterosexual married couples and their elementary school children. The average annual income of the participants was $100, 000. The study included a questionnaire regarding harsh disciplinary tactics toward the children, and emotional and physical aggression between family members, and included a thorough oral examination of the participants.  During laboratory interactions couples’ aggressive behaviors toward one another were also rated.

The Findings

The study resulted in the following statistics:

Men presented with 5.3 additional cavities for every above-average statistical increase in their partner’s aggressive behavior, and women presented with 3.5.

  1. Children presented with an average of 1.9 additional cavities for every above-average increase in their mothers’ aggressive behavior toward her partner.


There could be two reasons, or more likely a combination of reasons, for the results. The impact of stress on the immune system can lead to more decay, and the dysfunctional family situation mostly likely resulted in inconsistent oral hygiene behaviors.


Dr. Bob Jing has served patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth for many years. Together with his caring, compassionate, and highly-skilled team at 7 Day Dental, Dr. Jing is dedicated to making good dental health available to as many people as possible. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation or appointment, contact our office closest to you at 817-405-2001 on Jacksboro Highway, or at 817-405-0195 on Seminary Drive.