poor oral health can affect brain and bodySERVING AREAS OF DEBARY, ORANGE CITY, AND DELTONA FL

Your dentist probably has been warning you about the dangers of gum disease for quite some time. Not only can this disease devastate your oral health and do permanent damage to your mouth, but untreated gum disease can raise the risk of you developing chronic and potentially life-threatening ailments like heart disease and diabetes. A recent study suggests another possible link between gum disease and another serious, chronic condition: depression. Your Orange City dentist Terry Soule, DDS, wants to explore this research and how gum disease may affect your brain as well as your body.

Depression is on the rise in America

According to a recent study by Blue Cross Blue Shield, diagnoses of major depression in the United States have increased by 33 percent since 2013. Among millennials and adolescents, the increase is even higher—nearly 50 percent. In addition to their mental battle, those diagnosed with depression also were found to be almost 30 percent less healthy than other individuals and also predisposed to developing other significant health conditions. In fact, 85 percent of people with major depression also suffered from at least one other chronic health ailment, and a staggering 30 percent of those with depression had four or more separate, chronic conditions.

Another study established a possible link between depression and the prevalence of gum disease. The Oral Health Foundation studied 500 individuals from birth until their 30th birthday. Their findings, which were published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, found that people who were suffering symptoms of depression such as sadness and helplessness were nearly 20 percent more susceptible to contracting gum disease. Determining the exact cause of this possible link is a much murkier matter. In most cases, the bacterial infection of your gums that leads to gum disease occurs when you’re not diligent enough in your oral hygiene routine: brushing, flossing, and seeing your Orange City dentist every six months for a check-up. Individuals with depression often have problems performing their daily tasks, and their hygiene often suffers. People who suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobia face a similar struggle. They are so afraid at the mere thought of going to the dentist that they avoid professional dental care completely, which actually puts them in greater need of dental care because their oral health can suffer or significant problems can manifest.

Preventing gum disease in Deltona

Although there is not enough science to establish a definitive link between mental disease and gum disease, if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, then make sure extra measures are taken to protect your teeth and mouth. At Terry Soule, DDS, we can help you regain ownership of your oral health. Our dental cleanings remove all the potentially harmful bacteria and plaque from your teeth, as well as any hardened deposits of tartar that could become problematic. We also offer sedation dentistry via nitrous oxide, helping to calm any nervousness or fear so that dental care can be administered. Click here to learn more on whether or not nitrous oxide may be right for you.

Gum disease is serious. Early detection is key. If you are noticing the early stages of this disease, such as bleeding gums or redness and tenderness in your gums, you should be seen by a qualified dentist as soon as possible. Don’t let depression or anxiety compromise your oral health. Schedule a consultation by calling (386) 775-1552.

Terry Soule, DDS, is proud to care for patients in the areas of DeBary, Orange City, and Deltona in Florida.