Dental News

Tooth Loss Linked to Depression & Anxiety—Recover with Dental Implants

April 17, 2014

Dental implants offer an excellent way to replace missing teeth and restore your smile

Tooth lossTooth loss is most often caused by dental caries (tooth decay) and periodontitis (gum disease). These two conditions are quite common in many Americans, but usually people are able to correct them with proper oral care at home and at the dentist. However, these conditions can worsen or become chronic if care is not sought. A variety of complex factors affect patients’ ability and willingness to seek care and maintain good oral hygiene. As a recent study shows, depression and anxiety are significant contributors to the severity of oral health conditions that can result in tooth decay.

The study was conducted by researchers from West Virginia University, Morgantown, using data collected via the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from the CDC and various state health departments. The researchers only looked at patients who had complete data on mental health and tooth loss and were 19 or older. About 13.4 percent of the patients in the study had anxiety, 16.7 percent had depression, and 5.7 percent had lost at least one tooth.

When the data was compiled and adjusted, the researchers found that individuals suffering from anxiety or depression were 23 percent more likely to lose a tooth than the average population.

Recovering from Tooth Loss

Losing a tooth is never a desirable outcome. Missing teeth can cause further issues with oral health, including bone loss and bite changes, not to mention problems with self-confidence. Fortunately, individuals who are trying to recover from the dark days for depression or anxiety don’t have to live with a gap in their smile as a life-long reminder of the bad times. Several different options exist for replacing missing teeth, including bridges, partial dentures, and dental implants.

Dental implants are by far the best choice, especially for a young victim of tooth loss. Dental implants are the only restorative treatment that can actually arrest bone loss in the jaw, preventing many future problems. Although the surgeries required to place the dental implants are time-consuming, the end result is a durable, natural-looking artificial tooth that is securely anchored in the jaw and has all the functionality of a real tooth.

Before beginning the process of dental implants, individuals suffering from anxiety or depression should of course get professional treatment for these issues, to ensure that the same bad habits and fears that helped them to lose a tooth in the first place don’t crop back up and cause further problems. California Dental Group is here to help in any way we can with expert dental treatments in a safe and calming environment.

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