Tooth Loss, Anxiety and Depression
While some may not know, tooth loss does more damage to the body than simply leaving a gap in your smile. Tooth loss has already been linked to reduced physical health and even memory loss. Now, research has also shown that missing teeth are associated with depression and anxiety. In a study performed by an influential West Virginia University researcher, Dr. Constance Wiener, tooth loss that is caused by a variety of oral health problems was found to be connected with these mental health conditions.
According to Dr. Wiener, a host of chronic conditions can result from tooth loss after gum disease and tooth decay. Researchers already know that self-esteem, anxiety and depression can harm oral health, but Dr. Wiener wanted to extract more information from this connection. To do so, the researcher looked at data from 451,075 individuals collected in 2010.
While 16.7 percent of patients with tooth loss reported depression, 13.4 percent reported experiencing anxiety. After controlling the sex and race, Dr. Wiener concluded that people with depression and anxiety are more likely to suffer tooth loss.
The association of tooth loss with depression and anxiety is complex. While mental health issues can predispose people to tooth loss, missing teeth could also potentially cause or even worsen depression and anxiety. This can be through embarrassment, social isolation, pain and malnutrition. A combination of preventive home and office care can help eliminate tooth loss, but patients who lose teeth can also regain confidence, comfort and functionality by getting tooth replacements. At a consultation with our expert in dental implants in East Los Angeles, patients can learn about the best options for replacing teeth.
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