Tooth Loss and Depression
Tooth loss has been linked to higher risks of several health problems, including tooth decay, gum disease and malnutrition. Now, researchers have also found that tooth loss is associated with depression. The study that discovered this link was presented to the American Association for Dental Research at its 43rd Annual Meeting.
At West Virginia University, R. Constance Wiener, Ph.D., found that a number of chronic health problems were common outcomes of tooth loss due to gum disease and tooth decay. Dental health is tied to a number of biological and sociological factors, such as self-esteem, treatment access and self-worth. As a result, the connection between depression and tooth loss may involve either avoidance of dental care because of anxiety or lack of dental hygiene because of depression.
The study from Dr. Wiener was intended to examine possible links between depression, anxiety and loss of teeth. To accomplish this, the researchers looked at the results of a telephone survey performed by the CDC and state health departments. Specifically, they examined data from 2010 that covered 451,075 survey respondents. Focusing on individuals aged at least 19, the researchers found that depression, anxiety and a combination of the two conditions was strongly linked to loss of teeth.
Tooth loss is often preventable through daily brushing and flossing, prudent dietary choices and regular dental check-ups. When patients do lose teeth, they can explore their eligibility for replacements, including dental bridges, dentures and, ideally, dental implants. Patients can schedule a consultation with our expert in dental implants in San Fernando Valley to learn more about how depression and tooth loss are interconnected.
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