Depression and Oral Health-Art of Cosmetic Dentistry Buckhead

Depression is a term that has become commonplace in daily conversation. We now accept that anyone can suffer from this debilitating condition from the elderly to children and even our pets. As dental professionals we find that not only are patients reluctant to admit that they are suffering from depression, but they are also reluctant to state that they are on medications to treat it. It is important fr your dentist to know if you are suffering from depression as there is a link between depression and poor oral health. Depression affects the ability to function day to day, and therefore home care and routine dental visits may suffer as a result. A consequence of this can be increased dental decay. There are other contributing factors, such as xerostomia or dry mouth from the antidepressant medication that can lead to increased plaque levels. A second contributor is a decay inducing diet high in sugar for “comfort”. Another factor is the suppression of the immune system that prevents the body from fending off attack by the bacteria that cause decay. Finally, stress induced bruxing can take a toll on the teeth. These unexpected consequences of depression can be diminished. Fluoride rinses, vitamins. and a bruxism appliance can help. A conversation with your dental hygienist or dentist is the first and most important step to keep depression from affecting your teeth.