Int Poster J Dent Oral Med 21 (2019), No. 2 15. June 2019
It has been estimated that dental anxiety and pain before, during, and after treatment affects 4-30% of the population worldwide. Avoidance of dental treatment owing to anxiety is common and associated with deterioration of oral health. To overcome this, dentists have become a leading proponent of alternative music therapy.
Stress is responsible for ulcers, delayed wound healing, and periodontitis due to suppressed glucocorticoid receptor-alpha. It is enhanced by music as it works on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and reduces cortisol levels. Music increases levels of immunoglobulins, providing better immunity to oral tissues. Salivary flow improves as stress is reduced. The white noise effect and leading a procedure by playing music before treatment give positive responses from patients. Music therapy is frequently used as palliative care in cancer patients to improve quality of life by addressing their psychological needs and facilitating communication. Music distracts attention from pain by overcoming unpleasant sounds by acting on the descending pain modulation system.
Hence, it is non-invasive, analgesic, anxiolytic, cost effective with increased levels of creativity and optimism in patients and dentists. Music therapy can be considered an acceptable, affordable, and feasible modality for improvement of quality of oral and systemic health of people.
"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life"
- Berthold Auerbach
Keywords: Stress, anxiety, analgesic, oral health, quality of life, periodontitis, music therapy, palliative care
Poster Award: Certificate of excellence
22nd Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry (IAPHD) Conference
03.-05. November 2017
Dhule, Maharashtra, India