2015 Volume 237 Issue 2 Pages 83-90
In March 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE), which was followed by a devastating tsunami, destroyed the societal and the public hygiene systems in Japanese coastal areas. Insomnia, the greatest issue among disaster victims, has detrimental effects on both physical and psychological health. Periodontitis causes chronic discomfort and inflammation, and little is known about its impact on insomnia. Three months after the earthquake, a health panel survey was conducted over four surveys, till September 2013, in which information regarding 8,015 adults was collected and used. In addition to the heath-related questionnaire, other variables including subjective symptoms of oral diseases were recorded, and the Athens Insomnia Scale was used to evaluate the severity of insomnia. The association between insomnia and periodontal disease was examined using multilevel logistic models on the panel data, after adjusting for sex, age, economic status, comorbidities, body mass index, post-traumatic stress reactions, habitual smoking and alcohol drinking, and the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale score. In addition to the higher prevalence of insomnia among GEJE victims, significant association was revealed between insomnia and gum problems (OR = 2.16, 95% CI = 1.43-3.26), and difficulty chewing (OR = 2.22, 95% CI = 1.40-3.51), after adjusting for all covariates. The present study revealed significant association between insomnia and periodontal disease among GEJE victims. This indicated that together, integrated oral health care for disaster victims would contribute not only to prevention of oral infectious diseases, but may also help alleviate other problems caused by these harmful events.