The Link Between Depression and Oral Health

June 1, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — dudleyfamilydental @ 11:49 pm
a person suffering from depression symptoms

Depression is an issue that affects millions of people, making it one of the most common mental health issues in the world. And when you or someone close to you is struggling with depression, it can be easy to overlook other aspects of one’s health, such as oral wellness. That said, the potential impact that depression can have on the health of one’s smile should not be ignored! Here’s more from your dentist about this link, along with some tips for managing your overall health.

How Depression Is Linked with Oral Health

Even though depression is considered a mental health condition, believe it or not, it can severely impact your oral health in several ways. One of the main effects is the influence it has on your oral hygiene routine; those who suffer from depression, anxiety, or other types of distress might have a tough time or feel entirely apathetic about keeping up with their daily brushing and flossing, as well as their routine dental checkups. Needless to say, this neglect can spell bad news for one’s smile over time.

But the connection doesn’t end there; some early studies on mouth ulcers have uncovered a possible genetic link between depressive symptoms and the oral cavity. Additionally, other research suggests a connection between depression and decreased saliva production, which can increase the likelihood of cavities and decay.

Advice for Managing Your Overall Health

The bottom line is that you should strive to take care of every part of your body and wake up daily with the goal of maintaining great oral health and mental health. By doing so, you’ll mitigate all sorts of problems that might result from depression, including potential issues with your smile. Consider the following tips for leading a healthy and happier life:

  • Stay active – Even just a little outdoor physical activity a few times a week has been shown to increase one’s overall health and combat depression; this is in part thanks to the vitamin D that you receive from sunlight. Exercising also releases proteins that improve brain function.
  • Eat a healthy diet – You should try to reduce your intake of sugary or starchy items in favor of plenty of fruits and veggies. In addition to being bad for your teeth, unhealthy foods can also spike your blood sugar and worsen your depression symptoms. Not to mention, you’ll feel better about what you’re putting in your body if you eat healthy, which can improve your mood too!
  • Keep up with your oral hygiene regimen – No matter how you feel, you should strive to brush and floss daily, in addition to seeing your dentist as needed for checkups. Oral health issues, when left untreated, have the potential to spread to other parts of your body, meaning you’ll have even more on your plate to deal with! You can even tell your dentist about what you’re going through, and they might have some advice they can share to help you out!
  • Get help for your depression – You should also seek professional help for any issues you might be having; there’s never any shame in asking for help, and it’s a surefire solution for getting your head back in a good place!

About the Practice

Here at Dudley Family Dental, we’re honored to be able to provide patients and families in the Dudley community with an unmatched level of dental care! Our office is fortunate to house four skilled specialists: Dr. Harith Kamil, Dr. Hiba Abdulsattar, Dr. Natalie Shlosman, and Dr. Nawar Isaac. We offer a wide range of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic services that are certain to help you and your loved ones achieve optimal oral health. If you have any questions about the blog, or you’d like to arrange a visit for you or a loved one, feel free to contact the practice online or over the phone for additional information or assistance: (508) 943-7001.

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