Recent Study Uncovers a New Symptom of Depression and Anxiety
According to a recent study by the National Institute of Mental Health, 20.9 million Americans aged 18 or older, suffer from a mood disorder in any given year. That figure is staggering, to say the least. By now, most of us know the key symptoms of depression and anxiety include loss of interest, lack of self-esteem, sleep issues, changes in appetite, sadness, irritability, panic attacks, irrational fears, etc. Some of us are even aware of the physical manifestations of anxiety and depression such as headaches, muscle tension, jaw pain, digestive problems, fatigue, and more.
One More Reason to Treat Depression
A new study, utilizing telephone-based surveys of 76,292 eligible people that were equally comprised of both genders and of multiple races, concluded that there’s one more symptom associated with depression and anxiety – tooth loss. It’s no wonder, considering those suffering from depression tend to slack off in taking care of themselves well or showing initiative. This anxiety can often result in dental fear or avoiding dental work altogether. Poor oral hygiene, such as failure to brush and floss, as well as regularly skipping out on routine dental checkups, leads to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Decay and gum disease are both major factors in tooth loss. Even if these individuals know they need to have dental work done, they put it off until it’s too late. The end result in many instances is a tooth that cannot be saved. Unfortunately, this may be an ongoing vicious cycle, as depression may bring on dental issues and dental issues contribute to depression.
Thankfully, depression is manageable. Simple things like a change in routine, exercise, yoga, meditation, sun exposure, and depression support groups have been shown to eliminate or reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Studies have also pointed to fish-oil, SAM-e, and saffron as potential cures. However, if you think you may have depression or an anxiety disorder, it’s a good idea to speak with your physician and/or a therapist. A trained professional may recommend prescription medication to address your symptoms and they will also be able to help pinpoint an underlying medical condition that may be contributing to your symptoms.
Saving Your Teeth
Although regular home care is imperative in improving oral health, finding a dentist who specializes in treating patients with anxiety and depression makes seeking treatment easier. Dentists who advertise as cater-to-cowards dentists, as well as those who practice sedation dentistry are generally good choices. This is because simply meeting with a dentist who cares and understands dental fear is a huge benefit. This type of practice will not make you feel bad about how long it has been since your last appointment or talk over your head. They will listen to your concerns and will design a treatment plan to meet your individualized needs. Also, dentists that target fearful patients tend to provide a calming atmosphere, pampering, a gentle touch, and medications that will ease stress too. This article is provided on behalf of West Palm Beach dentist Dr. Sam Sadati, www.floridasmiles.com