Link Found Between Tooth Loss, Depression and Anxiety
In a report from March this year at ScienceDaily.com, evidence is presented of a "potential association of tooth loss with depression and anxiety." The information was taken from a report presented by R. Constance Wiener, from West Virginia University, Morgantown, at the 43rd Annual Meeting & Exhibition of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR). The report was entitled, "Association of Tooth Loss and Depression and Anxiety."
"Tooth loss from caries [cavities] and periodontal disease is an outcome from complex, chronic conditions. Several bio-psychosocial factors are involved, including accessing care. Individuals reporting dental anxiety may avoid dental care; and individuals with depression may be negligent in self-care. In this study, researchers examined a potential association of tooth loss with depression and anxiety," the article said.
The research was based on a telephone survey of the CDC and various state health departments, and involved more than 76,000 participants, all of whom were 19 years or older, and who suffered from depression and/or anxiety, as well as tooth loss.
Of these respondents it was reported that:
- 16.7% reported depression
- 13.4% of reported anxiety
- 5.7% reported total tooth loss
While causal factors were not examined; that is, whether tooth loss had led to depression and anxiety, or whether the respondents’ depression and anxiety had affected self-care to the extent that they lost their teeth, it was obvious to the researchers that there is a connection between tooth loss and depression and anxiety.
"At the conclusion of this national study, the researchers found that depression and anxiety are associated with tooth loss."
Being anxious or depressed over the loss of your natural teeth seems perfectly reasonable, since tooth loss affects your smile, your ability to eat the foods you enjoy, and your sense of self-esteem. In our experience as your Littleton dental implants experts, this reaction to total tooth loss is quite normal. However, with contemporary tooth replacement therapy, you no longer need to suffer from depression or anxiety due to tooth loss.