When you struggle with depression and are diagnosed with clinical depression such as major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, or bipolar disorder, it can be a tough situation to deal with. Depression affects every area of your life and health in various ways. Your teeth can even be affected by depression, for example. Learn some of the facts about depression and your teeth. Then, you can do what you can to preserve your oral health even when you struggle with depression.
Depression Can Lead to Poor Eating Habits
One of the ways that depression can affect your teeth is through your eating habits. When you are depressed, your eating habits can change quite a bit. One of the things that can happen is that you start to eat a lot more. The more you eat, the more potential residue can build up on your teeth causing you plaque and tartar buildup.
Another issue that can develop as the result of depression is that you eat more junk food. Junk foods are notoriously filled with sugars and starches. These particular types of foods are precisely what the bacteria in your mouth love to dine on, which can again lead to buildup, or worse yet, can cause infections in the mouth.
Depression Can Cause Brushing and Flossing Issues
Often, when a person is depressed, their overall hygiene suffers as a result. One of the areas of hygiene most affected is brushing and flossing. Depressed individuals can go days even weeks without brushing their teeth or only doing so sporadically. The lack of twice-daily brushing and daily flossing can greatly impact the health of the teeth. Cavities are one possible consequence. Gum disease is another.
If you are depressed, it is important that you try to at least brush your teeth and floss once daily. Doing so will help to preserve your oral health as well as possible until your depression lifts slightly and you can get back to your regular hygiene routine.
Depression Can Lead to Isolation
Another depression symptom that can cause your problems with your oral health is isolation. When a person is severely depressed and isolates themselves, they may avoid anything that involves social interactions, including dentist appointments.
Missing regular dental cleanings can mean that any minor dental issues you have like small cavities or gum inflammation will continue to grow and worsen, making them much more difficult to manage and treat. If you do nothing else when you are depressed, make sure you go to your cleaning appointments. They can be the difference between a healthy mouth and having severe dental problems and pain.
Now that you know some of the ways depression can impact your dental health and some of the steps you can take to counteract those issues, you can be sure that you do what you can to manage your dental health while you struggle with your mental health. And if your dental health has already suffered as a result of depression, visits to a general and/or cosmetic dentist can help fix what went wrong.
For more information, contact a company like Alliance Family Dental.