Mental illness does not only impact your well-being but also your oral health. Signs of depression, stress and anxiety can stop you from taking care of your oral hygiene.
As a result, you may find yourself with several oral problems while suffering from mental health diseases.
Hence, you are not only in a state of malaise but that is affecting your lifestyle and quality of life.
In order to reduce the impact on dental health, you should visit the dentist often.
However, you may forego that due to neglect.
This article discusses the signs of depression and how they can adversely affect your oral health.
Keep reading to know what you can do to limit their impact.
Symptoms and Signs of Depression
One telltale sign and symptom of depression is when people lose interest in everything.
Your job and interests are no longer appealing.
Furthermore, you may not be willing to take new steps and pursue new goals.
Hence the loss of interest or pleasure is a warning sign of type of depression include clinical depression.
Appetite and Weight Fluctuations
Differences in appetite work differently for people.
Some may eat more having an increase in appetite whereas others may cut down extremely on eating.
Hence, your weight fluctuates according to what you may eat.
Though one prominent symptom is that these weight fluctuations and dietary changes are unintentional.
You find yourself falling through with them but you do not intend for that to happen.
You may have a negative outlook on life and your recurring thoughts will show that too.
Thoughts like “What’s the point? or It is all my fault” stem from hopelessness.
You will not feel optimistic about anything.
Moreover, worthlessness, guilt and self-hate may eat you up.
Having a Range of Emotions
While people may associate depression with sadness and crying spells, it is also hidden in anger and extreme happiness.
You can feel angry one moment and burst out in tears the next.
Hence, it can result in mood swings where you feel a range of emotions without any change in your external environment.
Developing depression can make you feel sad all the time but also result in other emotions.
Therefore, it is a mood disorder.
An Increase in Fatigue and Difficulty Sleeping
You may always feel tired when you are depressed.
Especially when you feel no joy doing your tasks.
In fact, that also stems from constant fatigue and tiredness.
Due to this fatigue, you may find yourself oversleeping.
This can also be to escape from your depressing condition.
The reverse can also happen where you may become insomniac because of depression and anxiety.
And when you do not get enough sleep that will exacerbate your anxiety and restlessness.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression Differ For Men and Women
Women may usually feel tired, helpless and hopeless when they are suffering from a mental illness such as depression.
However, men may rather feel irritable.
Also, they can indulge in risky behavior, substance abuse, misplacing their anger and escapist behavior.
Hence, their reactions are drastically different and they may not be being low all the time.
Furthermore, anxiety can usually come together with depression and impact your mental health.
Symptoms like rapid heartbeat, feeling danger, nervousness, sweating, tremble, trouble focusing and muscle twitching are all signs of anxiety.
But how do these signs impact oral health? Let’s find out about that below!
Oral Health Leading to Signs of Depressing
Depression can affect your oral health and vice versa.
Yes! Poor oral health also has an impact on your mental health and can trigger depression.
Hence, it can be the cause of your mental condition.
This happens when you have inflammation can cause it.
Therefore when your gums are inflamed and are in constant pain then you can fall into the pattern of depression.
Those that suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder feel intense pain that can cause depression too.
Moreover, the appearance of your teeth can also cause social anxiety and you may feel depressed.
Furthermore, you may indulge in self-pity and self-hate not being confident in your body.
Adding to that, if you have severe pain then you will not be able to eat properly and get proper nutrition.
Furthermore, people who do have depression also show signs of poor oral health.
Their teeth were either in moderate or poor condition.
Hence, the health and condition of your teeth affect your well-being and your mental health.
Though it may also be the reason behind your dental problems.
Dental Problems Because of Signs of Depression
When you feel tired, hopeless and sleepy all the time, you do not feel good about yourself.
This is when you are most likely to neglect your daily activities and just escape into sleep.
Even if you are awake, your mind is all over the place and you cannot focus on any task.
Hence, you can even neglect your daily tasks and do not feel like brushing teeth and flossing.
If you do not brush regularly then your teeth will weaken over time.
The bacteria will stay inside your mouth without the brush and toothpaste removing it.
Not flossing teeth will not remove food debris from between your teeth.
Hence, the bacteria will keep feeding on the food debris and sugars producing acid as a result.
As the bacteria are in the grooves of teeth, the acid lands directly on the enamel and erodes it.
Over time as the acid keeps eroding the enamel, it allows the bacteria to enter the tooth structure.
Therefore, resulting in cavities and tooth decay.
Moreover, your gums will also swell because of bacterial accumulation and without brushing stimulation.
Additionally, as the biofilm of bacteria, plaque on teeth accumulates it hardens to tartar.
This can form pockets inside your gums separating that from the teeth leading to gingivitis.
If this pattern continues undetected then it may lead to gum disease and even tooth loss.
Furthermore, neglect can lead you to avoid regular dental visits.
You may become anxious going to the dentist as well.
Thus, you are likely to worsen your condition.
Otherwise getting regular teeth cleaning can help decrease the unhealthy consequences.
What’s more is that when you suffering from a mental health illness, you adopt some unhealthy habits.
These can be detrimental to your oral health.
Substance abuse and excessive drinking can affect the condition of your teeth.
Alcohol for instance weakens your teeth and discolors them.
Furthermore, smoking frequently to combat stress and not eating good food can be harmful to your teeth.
Smoking stains teeth while also making them vulnerable to bacteria.
A poor diet will not provide your body and your teeth with enough nutrition.
Furthermore eating more sugary foods and drinks will increase cavities in your teeth.
How Treatment Impacts Oral Health?
You will be surprised to know that the treatment of depression can also adversely affect oral health in one way.
Hence the treatment side effects can cause harm to your teeth.
Taking antidepressants can have an impact on the metabolism of bone tissue.
It interferes with its metabolism making it difficult to get dental implants.
Furthermore, antidepressants can cause dry mouth.
It may seem harmless but this condition can affect the flow of saliva inside your mouth.
Saliva is the first defense against bacteria.
It washes away food particles and preventing the bad bacteria from feeding on them.
Furthermore, it contains minerals such as calcium and phosphate which help to remineralize the tooth enamel when it weakens.
However, when your mouth lacks saliva it becomes parched.
You will feel the urge to drink more water and so should you to keep the salivary flow going.
When the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva, the bacteria can accumulate and feed on the food particles as they do not wash away.
Hence, the bacteria multiply even accumulating on your tongue leading to bad breath.
This can also further cause a tooth cavity, decay and gingivitis if you do not drink enough water or look for ways to keep the saliva flowing.
- chewing gum
- salivary stimulant
- drinking more water
Ask your dentist to recommend you a salivary stimulant to regulate the flow of saliva inside your mouth.
Even if antidepressants cause dry mouth and bone tissue problems, it does not mean that you should stop taking them.
They are absolutely necessary for you to recover and stay healthy.
While dental problems and signs of depression have a link, they are not the worst consequence of depression.
Sometimes your mental condition can worsen to a point that you may think of ending your life.
Suicide due to depression is not uncommon.
Hence, whenever you notice the symptoms of depression, it is best to seek help or at least reach out to friends and family.
While a professional can guide you to the right way to deal with your condition and treat you appropriately, don’t shy away from seeking help from friends and family as that is the first step.
Make sure that they feel good about themselves and indulge them in activities to encourage social interaction.
After all, humans are social animals hence, it is important for humans to interact with others and keep going.
Though, getting professional help should be your priority to counteract suicidal thoughts.
Mental health illnesses such as anxiety, bipolar disorder and stress can also lead to oral health problems like bruxism and eating disorders.
Though as long as you notice the signs of depression on time you can get professional help to feel better.
Furthermore, when you feel better, you can visit a dentist to get teeth cleaning and regain your oral health.