6 Ways in Which Depression and Oral Health Are Interlinked

Your oral health is of crucial significance for a number of reasons. It is not only responsible for offering you a great smile but it also has a significant impact on your overall health.

Among the various conditions that oral health is related to like heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, respiratory infections and much more, depression is one of the most important ones. This one happens to be a mood disorder that affects a large number of people on a daily basis. It is a complex mental illness that can be caused by a number of factors. The external factors include a traumatic life experience while the internal factors include a family history of this condition or brain chemistry or something else.

Depression is one of the conditions that can change your entire lifestyle. It is much more than just feeling sad. It not only disrupts sleep and concentration but it also disinterests people about performing their daily chores like taking care of their mouth or dental health.

On the other hand, the severe periodontal disease also has a significant impact on some of the systematic ailments and depression is one of them. The oral health behaviour and quality of life are also affected by this.

Apart from that, this persistent feeling of dejection and oral health have a relation through the changes in saliva in case of the depressed patients. If the flow of saliva decreases because of depression then it can give rise to several oral health issues like increase in the dental decay and other pathological health issues.

Here are some ways in which depression and oral health are interlinked. Just read on.

  • Chronic Pain Enhances Depression – It is not quite uncommon for people who experience pain to become depressed. It can happen that one refrains from going to the dentist and suffers from pain for a longer period of time. Not only that, it may also happen that your mouth is suffering from one issue after another as you are undergoing genetic disposition of cavities and practising poor oral hygiene. Under such circumstances, you should also be aware that you are more prone to develop depression if you undergo dental pain for an extended period of time. To prevent this you need to visit the dentist regularly.
  • Periodontal Disease Risk Is Enhanced by this Mental Illness – The level of circulation of cortisol gets enhanced by depression. With it the risk of periodontal disease also increases.
  • Fillings Can Deteriorate the Condition – Metal bound together by mercury is what constructs the amalgam fillings. Mercury happens to be a toxic substance and at times, the fillings can leak the mercury as a liquid or gas. Depression happens to be one of the symptoms of mercury poisoning. Although most patients do not undergo any such problem, if you are suffering from this mental condition then you should not discard this as the source. You should then be tested for mercury poisoning. Once the amalgam fillings wear down they should be replaced with composite ones.
  • Temporomandibular Disorders Caused by Depression – This mental ailment can give rise to temporomandibular disorder that can hamper the movement of jaw and can give rise to pain.
  • Antidepressants Affect Oral Health – You should be aware that the medications for the mental condition like the anti-depressants can give rise to dry mouth. The susceptibly to bad breath, gum disease and bad breath also gets enhanced because of that. You may have to use fluoride toothpaste and drink more water to control this. Apart from that, you also have to take medications properly for enhancing the flow of saliva.
  • Smiling Can Assist in Controlling Depression – The stress hormone can be decreased by smiling more often as it elevates mood. But if you are not satisfied with your smile you are less likely to smile often. Your dentist should be able to guide you about how you can improve the smile which will boost your confidence and as a result of that you will smile more.

The above are some of the ways in which depression and oral health are interlinked. So now that you know, you should take proper care of your oral health and also look out for symptoms of depression and do not shy away from seeing the doctor if you are experiencing any of it. This way you can lead a healthy and happy life where you can smile more often with confidence and take the world in your stride.

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