How Depression is Linked to Oral Health?

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How Depression is Linked to Oral Health?
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Depression is a life-threatening disease linked to a range of general health issues. Studies also demonstrate that it is linked to poor oral health. At Innovative Dental we want you to be fully aware of the relationship between your dental health and your overall health, including your mental health.

Depression can lead to:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Avoidance of necessary dental care
  • Neglected oral hygiene
  • Drug-induced xerostomia (more commonly called dry-mouth)
  • Increased risk of dangerous dental behaviors
Depression linked to Oral Health

The Links Between Depression and Oral Health

1) 61 per cent of patients reporting depression also reported an aching mouth and more than half consider their teeth to be in fair or poor condition. Even worse, the more dental conditions a patient suffers from, the worse their depression is likely to be.

2) Depression increases the circulating level of cortisol. When cortisol is produced in the gums, it stimulates a protein production, simultaneously increasing local inflammation and the progression of periodontal disease.

3) Depression can lead to temporomandibular disor­ders that cause pain and restrict jaw move­ment. This creates a feedback loop of even more anxiety and depression.

4) Depression is partly an “inflammatory” disorder, meaning that inflammations can induce it. Periodontitis causes such inflammation and inflammation in your mouth is linked to other problems, including heart attack and dementia.

5) Side effects of medicines for depression can increase the risk for caries, periodontal disease, and oral infections. These drugs can also have dangerous interactions with common ingredients of dental nerve-numbing drugs.

6) Depression is linked to increased high-risk behaviour associated with oral damage (e.g. smoking, alcohol and drug abuse) and symptoms of anxiety are significantly associated with lower tooth brushing frequency, which is not good for overall oral health.

For more information on the relationship between depression and oral health, contact Innovative Dental at (03) 9346 8333 today!

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