Depression Is a Threat to Oral Health

Did you know that depression, a common serious mental health and mood disorder, is linked to poor oral health care? If you suffer from depression, you may have a lack of motivation to take care of yourself and experience decreased salivation, which can directly impact oral health. Risk factors for depression include: personal or family history, major stress, and certain illnesses or side effects of medications.

Some signs and symptoms of depression are:

  • lasting feelings of sadness, anxiousness, emptiness, hopelessness, or pessimism
  • irritability
  • lack of energy/motivation
  • no interest in activities
  • guilt, worthlessness, etc.
  • difficulty concentrating or sleeping

There are many different types of depression, including:

  • persistent depression disorder (dysthymia): depressive symptoms for at least two years
  • perinatal depression: major depression during or after pregnancy (postpartum)
  • psychotic depression: severe depression and psychosis (delusions, hallucinations, etc.)
  • seasonal affective disorder: depression during the winter months

Depression is directly linked to oral health, because its consequences include xerostomia (dry mouth), a cariogenic diet (diet composed of sweets), and a poor immune system that can lead to oral infections. Risk for cardiovascular diseases also increases with depression.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.


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