Written By Kassandra Foreman / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Depression has wide-reaching effects on the entire life of a person, including their dental health. Poor dental health can affect depression through increased anxiety and stress.
Dental hygiene and depression
This interconnection can make both of these concerns harder to overcome and often make each other worse. It has been found that those with depression are more likely to neglect seeking preventative or ongoing dental care from their dentist, and less likely to maintain dental hygiene, along with an increased chance of unbalanced nutrition and dry mouth caused by medications used to treat depression.
Depression can make it very difficult to do everyday responsibilities. When everything feels overwhelming it can be easier to just let things go a little, and dental care may be less of a focus.
Minor dental issues and depression
On days when it is difficult to even face getting dressed and ready for the day it can be extremely difficult to find the motivation to book a dental appointment and even harder to keep it. This can lead to minor dental issues becoming larger concerns, small cavities becoming larger cavities, and even broken teeth can sometimes go unaddressed.
Dental appointments and depression
Without regular dental appointments many concerns are not caught before they get worse and the lack of preventative cleanings increases the likelihood of cavities and enamel damage.
Nutrition choices and depression
Along with the struggle to maintain dental care it is often difficult to maintain healthy food choices for proper nutrition. An unbalanced diet can lack the nutrients the body needs to maintain healthy teeth, and it is easy to form the habit of consuming convenience foods - or comfort foods and sweets, which increase wear on the teeth and lead to cavities.
As enamel weakens through the consumption of highly sugary or acidic foods such as soda pops or candies, more cavities can occur, which is compounded by the lack of motivation and ability to care for them properly and attend to preventative treatment and dental appointments.
In turn, suffering from discomfort or pain from dental concerns, and the knowledge that dental care is being neglected, can boost depression. It can feel like an additional stressor on top of all the others and increase the feelings and symptoms.
As these two factors can continue to make each other worse it becomes harder to receive the care needed and to take care of those needs, and the dental concerns in turn become worse, creating more fear and worry.
Dry mouth and depression
Often treating depression involves medications that can affect the body in many ways. One of these side effects that are fairly common is dry mouth.
Dry mouth occurs when the mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva to keep the teeth and gums damp - as a mouth normally is - so the mouth, teeth, gums, and tongue become dry. This allows bacteria to grow at increased rates and the lack of saliva allows food particles to remain on and around the teeth, increasing the cavities that occur.
Rinsing the mouth or brushing the teeth after eating can help counteract this and remove food debris and particles from the teeth and gums.
Depression and dental health are connected in many ways including proper nutrition, dental care and hygiene, and dry mouth caused or amplified by medications.
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Kassandra Foreman has been writing freelance for five years now and enjoys learning about new things to write about. When not writing she teaches yoga and meditation with a focus on health and fitness.
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.