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Is Depression Links to Bad Dental Health?

December 20, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — wethersfield @ 3:19 am

Sad woman looking out windowYour teeth are important for more than just a beautiful smile. There’s endless evidence supporting a link between oral and general health. While you might know about gum disease’s connection to cardiovascular disease or tooth loss’s relation to nutritional deficiencies, did you know your oral and mental health can be closely entwined? Research has found people struggling with anxiety and depression have an increased risk of tooth loss, and here’s why. 

Depression and Dental Health

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health conditions in the United States. 40 million adults have an anxiety-related disorder, while 1 in 10 Americans also have depression. Unfortunately, 80% of people with clinical depression don’t seek treatment. Researchers have found chronic or complex health issues are attributed to poor dental health, like gum disease and tooth decay, which are preventable. 

Adults with depression or anxiety are more likely to have bad oral hygiene habits at home and skip regular dental care. As a result, preventable problems like cavities and gum disease can go undetected and untreated, which can lead to the loss of a tooth. With each tooth that’s lost, your oral health will continue to decline until it can compromise your ability to eat certain foods, which can cause nutritional deficiencies that harm your wellness. 

Although teeth are meant to last for a lifetime, 120 million Americans are missing at least one. While there are many reasons behind tooth loss, cavities and gum disease are the leading culprits. Research has found that 1 in 4 adults have untreated decay and 50% of Americans have gum disease. Your risk of both can increase if you live with depression or anxiety.

Combating Depression and Anxiety

Whether you don’t have the motivation to brush your teeth or your palms sweat at just the thought of visiting a dentist, your overall well-being relies on a healthy smile. You can safeguard your dental health and boost your wellness by:

  • Committing to Your Oral Hygiene: If you view brushing and flossing as a chore, you’re not alone, but your toothbrush and floss are your first lines of defense against common oral health issues. Brush your teeth at least twice daily for 2 minutes every session and floss your teeth once per day.
  • Visit Your Dentist: The American Dental Association recommends a cleaning and checkup every 6 months; however, 36% of Americans have dental-related phobias. If you’re anxious about visiting the dentist, you may be a candidate for nitrous oxide to calm your nerves. Your dentist will cater to your comfort to provide the comprehensive preventive care you need.

A healthy smile is crucial for looking and feeling your best. You’ll invest in your oral and general health by giving your smile the attention it deserves.

About Dr. Ukti Phadnis

Dr. Phadnis earned her dental degree from the UConn School of Dental Medicine and has regularly completed continuing education in advanced services, like dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, and Invisalign. She understands every patient’s situation differs and caters treatments to their needs. If it has been a while since you’ve seen a dentist, contact our office today to request an appointment.

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