Depression is a serious mood disorder that affects millions of people each year in the U.S. alone. Along with anxiety, these are complex mental illnesses that may be caused by many factors, including trauma, familial history, and brain chemistry.
These illnesses are much bigger than simply feeling "sad”, and they can have major impacts on people's lives. This is even true when it comes to the teeth, so it is important that if you suffer from one of these conditions that you know how your oral health might be affected.
Medications and Cavities
Many people with depression suffer severely enough to warrant medication. Sadly, researchers believe that depression and anxiety are connected with tooth decay, primarily because of the medications they are required to take. Many of these medications cause dry mouth, which inhibits the saliva. When this happens, bacteria is allowed to linger in the mouth and cause both cavities and gum disease.
Poor Dental Care
In addition to medications, poor dental care can also lead to oral health problems. Many people who suffer from mental illnesses find it difficult to take care of their basic daily needs. Personal hygiene may suffer, including brushing and flossing the teeth. These patients may also find it difficult to attend their dental cleanings and regularly scheduled exams.
People with depression and anxiety should remember the fundamentals of good oral health. This includes brushing twice daily for at least two minutes per session. It is also important to floss daily and to stay on top of routine dental checkups and exams.
If you are battling anxiety or depression, it is important to let us know. We will help you to keep your teeth healthy so that you can focus your attention on your mental health. Call us today to set up your next appointment.
Century Dental Dr. Jefferson Call, DMD & Dr. Dix Densley, DDS