This study investigated dental students' smoking behavior and their attitudes, in order to provide programs to patients for giving up smoking. A questionnaire survey was conducted on dental students from November 2003 to February 2004. The subjects were 69 third-grade and 80 fifth-grade students of Tokyo Medical and Dental University. The following results were obtained. 1. The smoking rate of dental students was 19.4% (Male : 31.3%, Female : 5.8%) . 2. About forty-three percent of the students had started smoking before entering the university. However, most of the students who smoked had started after entering the university. The smoking rate and number of cigarettes smoked of fifth-grade students were significantly higher than those of third-grade students. 3. Dental students recognized the health risks of smoking more than the general public, especially concerning periodontal disease. 4. Only 5.4% of students answered that they would actively provide advice and instructions about the health hazards of tobacco to patients who smoked. 5. The rate of students who answered that they had enough knowledge to conduct smoking cessation programs for patients was 21.5%. 6. Students who smoked showed positive attitudes towards dentists' smoking behaviors and had passive attitudes towards smoking cessation programs conducted by dentists. These results show it is necessary to conduct smoking cessation programs soon after entering university and to provide more lectures on tobacco and health issues as well as practical training programs about giving up smoking in the dental education curriculum.
The purpose of this study was to clarify the following : 1) effect on the elasticity of the musculus trapezius caused by psychological load, and 2) relationship between psychological load, muscle elasticity, and the autonomic nervous system (ANS) by frequency analysis of heart rate variability. The experiment was conducted on a group of 30 healthy volunteers, consisting of 16 males and 14 females with an average age of 31.2 years old. We investigated and compared the changes in muscle elasticity and ANS in the case of control (resting), phonating and mental calculation as psychological load. Psychological status and stress response were measured by using State-Trate Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Stress Checklist (SCL), and Stress Tolerance Checklist (STCL) . As a result, the subjects experienced effective acute emotional stress during mental calculation, and muscle elasticity increased significantly. Heart rate (HR), low frequency (LF) component, and LF/HF increased significantly during mental calculations. The high frequency (HF) component tended to decrease during mental calculations. The rate of elevation of muscle elasticity and HR (difference between at rest and when calculating) was significantly related to STAI and STCL. STCL was significantly related to state of anxiety. The results of this study suggest that anxiety and stress tolerance affect muscle elasticity.