Depression and the Negative Impact on Dental Health

How a depressed dental patient may suffer poor oral health.

Mental health issues are now affecting many more of us than was previously thought. This may well be due to it being a subject that some would prefer to sweep under the carpet, especially when it comes to personal mental health issues.

The most likely type that most of us will suffer is depression. This can come in many shapes and sizes and will affect each of us in different ways. For many, it will simply pass after a while, usually when not too severe. For others though, depression is a day to day challenge that can last for many years. Those living in a large city such as Birmingham are also thought to be at higher risk, although rural depression is not too far behind.

Dental Health

At Arthur House Dental Care, we have seen, over the years, a number of dental patients from Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham and the West Midlands who have neglected their teeth for long periods of time due to this illness. The very nature of depression can impact on a person’s oral health due to diminished concern about their own well being. Even factors such as exercise and diet, both of which can also contribute towards recovery, are often ignored, with healthy meals replaced by comforting sugary foods that can only contribute to dental decay. In addition to this, the regular routine of teeth cleaning may be missed, making the effect of these sugars more significant and often leading to problems such as gum disease.

Dental Care

Although we encourage our patients to ensure that regular check ups at our Sutton Coldfield dental practice are adhered to; for those with depression, this is easier said than done. In many cases, these appointments are simply forgotten, whilst, in others, there is insufficient motivation in the mind of the patient and understandably so.

It is not unusual for a number of years pass between dental visits and, because of this, what would once have been minor problems, such as early stage gum disease, can evolve into more serious issues such as periodontitis which not only attacks the gums but also the underlying bone structure which holds the teeth in position.

Whilst periodontitis is treatable, usually through deep cleaning, it is not unusual for a number of teeth to be lost. This can only add to the depression sufferer’s poor sense of self worth.

Dental Implants

For patients who suffer from depression, there is little that we can do other than encourage them to seek professional medical help and to try, whenever possible, to attend our dental practice in order that their oral health be monitored.

For those who are now on the road to recovery though, but have been left with dental problems such as loss of teeth, we are able to help you back along the road to recovery by helping you to regain a full set of teeth which will not only improve your appearance but also enable you to eat well again.

For those who have lost teeth through periodontitis or decay, dental implants are arguably the best available solution due to their permanence and strength. Other options include bridges or partial Valpast dentures. Both of these are certainly beneficial although do not have the convenience and longevity of dental implants.

For whatever reason, if you have not seen your local dentist in Sutton Coldfield for some time and are concerned about the state of your oral health, we are happy to see you at Arthur House Dental Care. Following a full assessment and consultation, we will suggest the best ways to restore your oral health and give you a healthy and attractive smile once more.

For full information, please call us on 0121 323 4492.