How Depression Could Be Affecting Your Oral Health

January 5, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drcourtney @ 12:59 pm
Someone looking depressed

It’s no secret that, as a nation, we are currently undergoing a mental health crisis. A recent Gallup poll found that 29% of Americans have been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives, and that  17.8% of them currently suffer from the condition.

The prominence of this condition has had wide ranging effects, including some surprising ones on the world of dentistry. Depression can have some knock-on effects on oral health; if you or a loved one are suffering from the condition, here’s what you should know.

Depression and Oral Health

Even under the best of circumstances, staying on top of your dental hygiene isn’t always going to be easy. However, depression patients at their lowest tend to have a hard time managing hygiene of all kinds. Brushing and flossing can easily fall by the wayside during the worst parts of depression, causing oral health to suffer.

Treatment and Complications

Depression can be debilitating, and for many people with the condition treatment via medication is a welcome relief. However, it’s important to note that many of the drugs used to treat depression can have effects on oral health.

SSRIs like Zoloft and Prozac are some of the most prescribed medicines to treat depression and anxiety, and while they can be incredibly effective, one of their common side effects is dry mouth. A reduction of salivary production prevents the breakdown of food, increasing the risk of developing gum disease.

Maintain Oral Health in the Throws of Depression

Dealing with depression is complicated, and if you’re in the midst of it you should consult a mental health professional for help. However, there are things you can do on your own ensure that your oral health doesn’t degrade as a consequence of your condition.

For one, doing something for your teeth is better than doing nothing. Even if you find it difficult to brush and floss consistently, doing so when you can will still be helpful. If you’re being treated for depression, you should also be sure to stay hydrated in order to avoid the dry mouth associated with the condition. Finally, it’s especially important for those with depression to see their dentist often for preventive care, allowing them to make up for days when brushing or flossing doesn’t feel possible.

About Our Practice

Welcome to Artistry Smile Center! At our practice, we make it a point to place our patients at the center of everything that we do. We have designed our office to not only feature cutting-edge dental technology, but to ensure that our patients are completely comfortable for the duration of their stay. Every day we strive to be an innovative dental practice informed by the latest developments in our field, and our patients benefit from the ease of care associated with that commitment.

If you have any questions about how your mental and oral health could be linked, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (614) 451-7393.

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