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Dental problems and the healing effect of humour



Type of Spiritual Experience


Humour seems to have a positive effect on the immune system. Elevations in natural killer cell activity have consistently appeared in quantitative experimental studies. Dr Lee Berk at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, CA, for example, found that laughter, happiness and joy "inspired" the immune system to create white "T" cells, which helped to prevent infection. Another example is shown below

A description of the experience

Rom J Intern Med. 2010;48(4):333-9.  Relationship of humour with oral health status and behaviours - Dumitrescu AL, Toma C, Lascu V.  Institute of Clinical Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway.

A sense of humor and an ability to laugh reduces stress, enhances hope, relieves tension, and stimulates the immune system. This study explored the role of humour on oral health status and behaviors. The factor structure and the construct validity of the Romanian version of the Multidimensional Sense of Humour Scale (MSHS) was also assessed.


The present study sample consisted of 213 first year dental students. The questionnaire included information about socio-demographic factors, behavioral variables and self-reported oral health status. Sense of humour was assessed using the Multidimensional Sense of Humour Scale (MSHS) (Thorson and Powell, 1993).


There was no significant gender difference with regard to total MSHS scale of humour; however, a detailed analysis of the factors and items reveals some differences in constructions of sense of humor between males and females. We have compared the highest and the lowest 30% of individuals with respect to their MSHS humour scores, in order to test the hypothesis that persons in high humour groups would report higher levels of good health than those in low humour groups. It was revealed that four of the dependent variables, oral health status, gingival health status, toothbrushing frequency and dental visit frequency differed significantly among the two groups. It was also shown that participants who flossed their teeth or used mouthwash once a month presented significant lower values of humour thon those who used everyday dental floss or oral mouthrinses. The independent variables (demographic variables [age, gender, tobacco usage] and humour) were regressed on each of the dependent oral health status and behaviour scales. Although the multiple regression analysis on gingival status was non-significant overall, humour contributed a small, but significant 1.51% of the predictive variance, P < 0.05.


Further research is required in order to gain a better understanding of the concept of humour and its uses in healthcare.

 PMID: 21528762

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Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps