Anxiety and Depression and Their Link to Tooth Loss
Tooth loss has been tied to numerous diseases, including diabetes and HIV/AIDS. Now, researchers have found that tooth loss is also associated with mental health conditions. Among patients with depression and anxiety, tooth loss was found to be significantly more common than among patients without those conditions. Here is more about this information and how patients can help keep their own teeth healthy and intact.
Researchers have long been aware that people suffering from anxiety and depression are less likely to take care of their teeth. For example, patients who are anxious about dental care are less likely to schedule regular check-ups. Individuals with depression commonly take less care of themselves overall compared to people who are not depressed. To investigate the impact these conditions may have on tooth loss, researchers looked at data collected from 451,075 respondents in 2010. After adjusting for sex and race, the researchers confirmed that people with depression, anxiety or both conditions did suffer from more tooth loss.
Just as depression and anxiety can predispose people to tooth loss, patients who lose teeth may also be more likely to become depressed and anxious. After losing teeth, many people feel less confident about their smile and cannot eat nutritious foods well enough to be mentally healthy. Fortunately, regular check-ups and timely restorative dental care can often prevent tooth loss. At a consultation with our restorative dentist, patients can learn more about the links between tooth loss and other conditions and discuss strategies for keeping teeth intact.
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