Influence of Depression on Dental Health

Depression SignsThe reasons for depression can be different and among them you can meet stress at work, financial difficulties or family problems. There are also different types of depressive disorders and they can be treated in different ways. Some people need just to get a consultation with a psychiatrist to find a way of coping with a certain depressive condition.

Most of people do not treat depression as a disease and they usually address a psychiatrist when their depression is progressed and can only be treated with medications. According to the latest studies devoted to the use of antidepressants and their influence on dental health, depressed people can be at high risk of negative dental effects if they start taking depression medications without instructions.

These negative side effects and interaction of depression medications with other health products will have direct influence on dental health of a patient. Xerostomia or dry mouth is the main consequences of taking antidepressants. If a person does not pay a lot of attention to this health condition, xerostomia will lead to tooth decay, gum infection and oral yeast infection.

Another set of adverse side effects of depression medications can be high blood pressure or hypertension. Besides, if a patient is sick with other diseases and takes medications, the adverse side effects can be intensified. In its turn, dentists need to learn the information about the medications taken by a patient. Then an intensive preventive dentistry program needs to be applied to decrease the consequences of xerostomia. This program concludes providing information to a patient on how she or he should get dental care at home including hygiene practices, fluoride applications.

Moreover, scheduled dental visits should become regular and obligatory. A patient needs to control blood pressure and to take care of any cases when he or she feels unwell. Any dentist should also understand that the patient is sick with depression and proper stimulation should be provided as well. A dentist needs to take all the details into account and to see if there is a chance to monitor the health of a patient.

Xerostomia is usually associated with the decreased level of saliva and it means that a patient cannot fight any dental infection in the right manner. That is why patients with xerostomia usually have bad breath. A dentist will help a patient to assess the state of oral health and will help treat all the related symptoms.

Depressed patients need to follow all the instructions and recommendations of a dentist and to take care of their oral health on a regular basis. The treatment of xerostomia should not contradict with the treatment of depressive disorders. Depression is not a simple disease and it might take several months. So, a patient needs to consult a dentist if any negative changes in relation to oral health can take place.


Photo by Sander van der Wel

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