Written By Jennifer Raskin / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Friends and family might mean well when they try to tell you to smile more. But when you’re depressed, it’s often hard to put on a happy face and just grin and bear it.
It’s not just about losing that ability to smile though. Depression does affect your dental health and the sooner you work on both mental wellness and oral improvements, the better off you’ll be.
Studies have shown a link to tooth decay and dry mouth caused by depression. Depression affects millions of Americans, brought on by changes in brain chemistry, family genetics, or even something traumatic.
With the pandemic disrupting life as we know it, even those that never had depression are now experiencing it along with anxiety. And those that already had it feel like they’ve sunk deeper into despair.
If you have depression, you know that it’s not just being sad. You may have trouble sleeping, focusing, or feeling interested in things that usually bring you joy. When you’re depressed, sometimes getting out of bed and doing simple tasks like showering or brushing your teeth fall by the wayside.
Impact Of Depression On Oral Health
Skip brushing your teeth for a day and it’s rarely likely to be a problem. However, with depression, it’s more likely you’ll skip a week.
Or you’ll brush for half the time necessary to properly clean your teeth. You may feel too overwhelmed to floss your teeth too.
Depression also leads to lack of nutrition. Eating habits tend to change.
For some, food becomes comfort, particularly sugary and fatty options that are terrible for our teeth as well as our internal organs. Eating too little deprives us of key nutrients too. All this spells trouble for your teeth.
With depression and letting healthy habits go, it can only become worse and require more intensive care to rid your gums of the infections. Bad breath is a mildly unpleasant side effect, but even worse, when left untreated, you may lose teeth.
Your dentist can’t treat depression, but as a medical professional, they can speak to you confidentially and help you connect with a doctor that can lead you out of the dark depths of depression. Meanwhile, your doctor can help correct the oral health problems you’re experiencing and give you new reasons to smile.
Anti-depressant medications can help tremendously, but again, working with your dentist will mitigate their side effects. These prescriptions can lead to dry mouth and bruxism, a condition of habitually grinding your teeth.
If you feel depressed because of the pandemic, your current life situation, your oral health, or anything else, it’s so important to get the help you need. Start brushing twice daily for two minutes per session, flossing once per day, and make an appointment to see your dentist.
It’s a safe space where you can discuss what you’re feeling and your oral health concerns and start getting things back on track.
Looking for a 100% all-natural liquid tooth oil and mouth rinse? Check out OraMD Original Strength and OraMD Extra Strength. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources make sure to check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Jennifer Raskin is a freelance writer, wife and mom that loves cold weather despite her location in Florida, cooking, reading, watching ‘80s movies, weight-lifting, and wine tasting.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com