Aim: Reducing the psychosocial stress by various methods can improve overall health, and yoga is now considered as an easily available alternative method. The present cross-sectional pilot study was conducted mainly to find the association of yoga practice with periodontal disease by measuring serum cortisol levels.
Materials and methods: A total of 70 subjects with age range of 35-60 years suffering with chronic periodontitis were divided into group I (with stress), group II (without stress), and group III (practicing yoga). Psychological evaluation was carried out using Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) and Zung Self-rating Depression Scale (ZSDS). Periodontal parameters like plaque index (PI), probing pocket depth (PPD), and clinical attachment level (CAL) at 5-8 mm and >8 mm were recorded. Blood samples were collected and serum cortisol levels were measured.
Results: Mean age, plaque scores, and number of teeth with PPD and CAL at 5-8 mm and >8 mm were similar in all the groups, except between group I and group III where a multiple comparison with Tukey's post-hoc test showed significant difference in plaque index (P < 0.038) and the number of teeth with CAL 5-8 mm (P < 0.016). Serum cortisol levels and HAM-A scale and ZSDS scores showed highly significant value (P < 0.001) in group I subjects when compared with group II and group III subjects.
Conclusion: Cross-sectional observation done among three groups showed that individuals practicing yoga regularly had low serum cortisol levels, HAM-A scale and ZSDS scores, and better periodontal health.
Keywords: Cortisol; periodontal disease; serum; stress; yoga.