Depression is a life-threatening disease linked to a range of health issues. Studies increasingly show it is also linked to poor oral health.
Depression can lead to:
- Neglected oral hygiene
- Poor nutrition
- Drug-induced xerostomia (dry-mouth)
- Avoidance of necessary dental care
- Increased risk of dangerous dental behaviors
- 61% of patients reporting depression also reported an aching mouth and more than half consider their teeth to be in fair or poor condition.
- Depression increases the circulating level of cortisol, thus raising the risk that periodontal disease will progress.
- Depression can lead to temporomandibular disorders that cause pain and restrict jaw movement.
- Depression is partly an “inflammatory” disorder, meaning that inflammations can induce it. Periodontitis causes such inflammation.
- Side effects of medicines for depression can increase the risk for caries, periodontal disease, and oral infections. Other side effects may cause tooth damage.
- Depression is linked to increased high-risk behaviour (e.g. smoking, alcohol and drug abuse) associated with oral damage.
For more information on the links between depression and oral health, contact Bondi Dental today!