Depression And Anxiety Can Affect Your Oral Health

Source: asapdentist.com

This headline is shocking. 

Not brushing your teeth, sure, we all know that it can provide cavities. It can turn to plaque and tartar which will proceed to gum disease and other oral health problems. Forgetting to floss is also a main teeth and gum health issue. But who would’ve thought that depression and anxiety can rot your teeth? Seriously!?

According to the CDC or Centers for Disease Control, 20% of Americans have cavities that are left untreated. This is 1 out of 5 children and adults in the US combined with mild to severe oral health problems. What’s more is that there is a direct link between mental health disorders, specifically depression and anxiety, and bad oral hygiene which can lead to tooth decay and gum diseases. Even prescribed anti-depressants that depressed people take to in order to manage and cope with their disorders is believed to be a cause of cavities. 

Why anxious and depressed people have oral health issues.

Source: health.harvard.edu

A study was published in 2004 by the Journal for the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and it states that medicines to treat depression and anxiety can promote a dry mouth. If the mouth is dry, it can be a breeding ground for bacteria and then, it is likely that the presence of mouth problems will ensue. This dental condition is referred to as xerostomia. If left untended, it can fast track to severe gum diseases.

 

It is also proven that depressed people don’t want to take care of themselves, physically and that includes oral health. They don’t brush their teeth for days. Poor oral health is one of the effects of depression and even anxiety. The teeth and gums will not clean itself, you know, and this is a really big problem. 

 

If the person is depressed for a very long time and doesn’t go out of the house, it is also possible that he or she will not take the time to brush and floss. This is the link that experts are talking about. They will neglect personal hygiene when they are experiencing their “down” moments. 

 

There are also other tooth problems brought about by anxiety and depression.

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Aside from the deliberate neglect to clean up their teeth and mouth, some people with the disorder can also destroy their teeth by grinding or clenching. The anxious person goes to sleep at night and unconsciously, he or she grinds his or her teeth while sleeping. The enamel of the tooth may wear down because of the act and as they arise in the morning, they experience headaches due to the grinding and clenching. During day time, it is also possible to grind the teeth and the usual consequence is a painful jaw.

 

It is also believed that an anxious and depressed person can suffer from acid reflux. This acid from the stomach can cause severe damage to one’s oral health by eroding the teeth’s enamel.

 

What to do with this pressing issue?

 

Dentists suggest:

 

  1. Find the strength to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each session. It is also advisable to use toothpaste with fluoride treatment.
  2. Flossing is a great way to relieve the teeth of food caught in between. It will also inhibit formation of cavities and bacteria on the tight spaces.
  3. To prevent dry mouth, drink water as much as you can. Sugarless gum is also advised to eliminate mouth dryness. Remember, dry mouth can cause bacteria in between teeth to grow. It can also encourage mouth odors. 

 

On depression and anxiety…

 

The bigger issue here is your mental health problem. If you are depressed or have an anxiety problem, you have to seek professional help immediately. BetterHelp.com is one of the ways to reach out for mental health assistance. 

PERIODONTAL DISEASE – CAUSES, SYMPTOMS & DIAGNOSIS

Source: miamiperio.com

Periodontal or gum disease is a pathological inflammation of the periodontal tissues (gum and bone support) surrounding the teeth. The inflammation of the gum line and the teeth support is a process and it occurs in three distinct stages, the initial stage is called gingivitis and it is characterized by the swelling, irritation, and redness of the gingiva, the second stage is called periodontitis and it is associated with the breakdown of the alveolar bone which connects the teeth to the jaw, while the final stage is called advanced periodontitis.

Periodontitis is usually characterized by the destruction of the supporting tissues of the teeth which leads to the development of cavities between the tooth and the gums. This in turn ultimately lead to teeth loss. It is common for those suffering from periodontitis to experience two distinct periods, the first being a period of rapid growth of the disease and second a period of remission.


Periodontitis operates in a covert way as it is painless and not easily detectable except during the early stages of the disease where patients may have bleeding gums as they brush their teeth. However, as the disease progresses, the bleeding stops and the signs of the disease are not very obvious again.

CAUSES

 

  • Poor dental care habits: One of the major causes of periodontal disease results from not having a good dental habit that involves brushing twice daily and flossing atleast once per day. Additionally, habits like grinding and clenching of the teeth that are not entirely harmful by themselves can if done with relative consistency, lead to the development of other diseases especially if the gum was inflamed, to begin with. The simple truth is that these habits exert pressure on the oral cavity and increase the rate of ligament and bone breakdown.
  • Poor nutrition:A good diet is crucial to maintaining a healthy oral cavity. Foods rich in vitamin C are essential as they help to increase the strengths of bones and teeth.
  • Smoking and chewing of tobacco: Smoking of cigarette causes bad breath and tobacco chewing leads to the discoloring of the teeth and increases the likelihood of contracting periodontal diseases or even makes it worse for those who already have periodontal disease.

Source: sciencenutshell.com

    • Hormonal imbalance: Fluctuating hormonal levels in the body cause changes in the mouth. Stages like puberty, menopause, and menstrual cycles and even during pregnancy can make individuals highly vulnerable to gum disease.
    • Genetics: Genes have been linked to individuals having a risk of contracting periodontal diseases. However, this risk can be greatly reduced and entirely prevented with good dental hygiene.
    • Age: As individuals get older, it is very common for them to have issues with their teeth.
    • Medications:Some certain medications are known to cause dry mouth which leads to having a mouth odor and consequently periodontal disease.
    • Diseases:One of the symptoms of some diseases like diabetes is having a bad mouth odor which can be a precursor to periodontal disease.

 

  • Stress

 

  • Eating garlic and onions
  • Having braces or misaligned teeth 

 

SYMPTOMS

Periodontal disease can be very silent and covert in the way it spreads. Most times, it is painless and not easily detectable. It is, however, advisable to be on the lookout for the following signs;

Source: smilepoint.com.sg

 

  • Bleeding gums or Tendons
  • Red swollen gums 
  • Chewing food with pains
  • Persistent Mouth odor 
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Awful taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums 
  • Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums

 

DIAGNOSIS

The best way to determine that one has a periodontal disease is to visit the dentist, who will then review the medical history of the patient to confirm if he/she cultivates harmful habits like smoking and drinking etc. that causes periodontal disease. 

The dentist will also examine the patient’s mouth in search of plaques and bleeding gum. He may also use the dental probe to measure the pocket depth of the groove between the patient’s gum and teeth. Dental X-rays may also be done to access those interior areas of tooth loss that the dentist cannot see with his naked eye. 

When Bad Breath Strikes

                Source: entdoctor.co.za  

This is a very common problem of adults all over the world. According to a study conducted by Colgate, up to 50% of the adult population in the whole world are suffering from this medical condition called halitosis. Bad Breath Institute says that 35% to 45% of people have bad breath which matures into this funky medical ailment. As for those who live in the US, research proved at least 80M American adults suffer from chronic bad breath.

 

What makes the breath smell bad even after you’ve brushed your teeth?

 

This odor coming from the mouth is a result of bacteria thriving within the mouth, embedded between the teeth or can come from an underlying health disorder other than the mouth. It can easily be cured if the bad breath is a temporary state or phase – for example, waking up in the morning and the normally breath is stale since saliva has dried up or eating pungent foods like garlic. But for others, their bad breath is strong and chronic. It becomes halitosis. 

 

Are there other symptoms to know that you may have extreme bad breath or halitosis?

 

Most of the time, the person can’t smell that he or she has bad breath. Other people can smell it and so, if you see them react when you speak to them, take this as a sign that your breath is foul. Another way to ascertain that you have bad breath is the “taste” test. Feel the saliva on your tongue. If it tastes funny or has a rancid smack to it, then, you may have bad breath. This goes beyond brushing the teeth and gums, and gargling with mouthwash.

 

What are some of the causes of bad breath or halitosis?

          Source: raleighncdentistry.com

 

  1. You will have bad breath if you neglect your dental hygiene practices. After eating, small food particles will be squeezed in between your teeth. The food will rot and bacteria will also thrive in it. Plaque will develop as well and these instances combined will cause the unpleasant smell. 

 

2. Pungent foods like garlic and onion causes bad breath for up to 72 hours. The oils from the food is being absorbed in the stomach and is release into the blood stream. Then, the “stinky” blood passes through the lungs which manifests the staleness. Even if you brush, it won’t come off. Coffee can also contribute to this supposedly bad mouth odor.

 

3. Smoking dries the mouth and contributes to the putrid breath even more. 

 

4. On the subject of “dry mouth”, it does make the breath smell unpleasant. Dry mouth means there is a lack of saliva produced within – saliva decreases the bad smell and cleanses the mouth, as well. If it is a salivary gland condition, this has a separate treatment and is not a bad breath issue. Otherwise, it can be halitosis.

 

5. Bad breath can also be due to periodontal diseases. Not brushing your teeth regularly can promote plaque build-up. Plaque that remains in between the teeth can turn into tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing alone and this is really smelly. 

 

Can my halitosis be treated?

                        Source: functionalsmiles.com

Of course! Just set an appointment with your dentist so that he or she can administer a test on your bad breath condition. The dentist has the perfect solution to all your dental concerns and you will be odor-free in no time.

 

Sometimes, your severe bad breath can lead you to feel stressed out, anxious or depressed. It can affect you gravely and may turn into a mental health issue for you. You can always submit to online therapy for stress or anxiety relief. A therapist in your area will be very much willing to talk to you about your worries. 

 

MOUTH ODOR

Source: momjunction.com

Halitosis commonly called bad breath is generally concerned with the unpleasant or offensive odor that comes out of the oral cavity of Individuals who do not undertake proper dental health habits. Mouth odor may be persistent and long lasting or in some cases occur from time to time depending on the cause and may be the symptom of other health conditions. Thus, it is quite necessary to consult a physician as soon as possible in order to identify and resolve the problem appropriately.   

The oral cavity or mouth is home to millions of micro-organisms, most especially bacteria which dwell on the underside of the tongue. The activities of these micro-organisms are believed to be the major cause of mouth odor. Mouth odor is usually influenced greatly by the health habits of the individual, the type of food or drinks he/she takes and whether or not he/she smokes or takes tobacco. 

It should be noted that some mouth odor are natural. For example, it is common to wake up in the morning with your mouth smelling a bit. This is referred to as “morning mouth” and it occurs due to the changes in your mouth while you sleep. The body secretes more saliva during the day that is very useful in wiping away the un-swallowed food particles and consequently preventing bad odor from the oral cavity, but this is not the case during the night as the body secrets less saliva while you sleep, making the mouth very dry and this enables dead cells to stick to the tongue and the inside of the cheeks. The bad odor in the morning is as a result of the bacteria acting on these dead cells. 

Causes of Mouth Odor

Source: remediesforme.com

 

  • Nature of oral health: This deals with the dental hygiene habits of the individual, whether or not they brush twice in a day and also floss at least once per day to ensure that they reduce the risks of contracting periodontal disease and also bad mouth odor.
  • Mouth Infections: These are usually caused when proper dental health habits are not adopted leading to the development of plaques which leads to gingivitis and either tooth cavity or ultimately periodontal disease.
  • Respiratory tract infections: This deals with infections that affect the respiratory system and sometimes prevent proper breathing. They include pneumonia, Throat infections, sinus or lung infections 
  • Eating, drinking and smoking habits: Ideal dental health adherence ensures that when you take foods like garlic and onions, you should make sure that you do not go to bed without properly taking care of your oral cavity. Similarly, drinking coffee tea or red wine, smoking cigarette, and chewing tobacco leads to the discoloring of the teeth and contributes greatly to having a mouth odor. 
  • Dry mouth (xerostomia): The inability of the salivary gland to secrete a healthy quantity of saliva daily is referred to as dry mouth and it can be caused by medications and old age. It ultimately results in having a mouth odor.
  • Sickness: Mouth odor has been linked as one of the symptoms of a number of sicknesses which include reflux disease, liver disease, sinus disease, kidney disease, lung disease etc. 

 

Symptoms

Source: digestivehealthguide.com

 

 Most times, people who have bad mouth odor are blissfully unaware of the fact and may only take notice when their social life begins to take a nose dive as friends begin to step away as they talk. Other signs to take note of include a mouth infection, sickness, dry mouth and respiratory tract infections that directly result in mouth odor.

Preventive Habits

 A number of healthy dental habits can be adopted to prevent bad odor. They include:

  • Following the recommended brushing of the teeth twice daily and flossing at least once per day
  • Drinking of large quantities of water daily to help the body produce more saliva and prevent dry mouth.
  • Visiting the dentist at least twice annually and sticking to the dentist’s recommendations.

ORAL HEALTH AND RELATIONSHIPS

Source: besthealthmag.ca

It’s no news that bad odor puts people off even before they discover a person’s personality; as no one wants to listen to a speech embedded with an oral stench. We’ve also been advised to brush our teeth twice daily to keep them healthy and maintain fresh breath but what other thing does this daily activity boost and why should we be conscious of it?

Oral health: A Preview of how it affects your relationships

Source: empowher.com

Oral health can be described as a term relating to the general health condition of the mouth. The mouth is a vital part of the body and its hygiene is of utmost importance as research has shown that unhealthy gums result in sexual dysfunction and pregnancy complications. People must be aware that it isn’t just about the breath. The color of each tooth is also to be considered as no great smile can emerge from a set of varying colors. 

There’s a feeling an individual usually gets when he/she forgets to brush the teeth. The oral cavity is oozing, confidence drops and it will be hard for such a person to even open their mouth just to say a word. Thus, it is essential to keep the mouth hydrated by taking lots of fluid at regular intervals.

It is to be noted that the mouth is also a very vital organ that can reflect the state of health of the whole body. For example, often times when an individual is down with fever, the taste buds become less effective and then there is also the loss of appetite. Conditions like jaundice or anemia can also be detected from a quick glance at the mucous membrane of the oral cavity.

A relationship describes the way two or more people or things are connected or feel about each other. The relationship between an individual and others and even with himself or herself is a very vital entity of living or lifestyle. Many relationships have not even started because of that first step of opening up the mouth to release words and others have not gone far because of the bad odor that accompanies every word spoken per second. 

The Bridge/Link

There is no relationship without communication and relationships won’t be effective without oral communication which highlights the significance of oral hygiene.  The bridge between oral health and relationships is effective communication. An individual with a bad oral odor may find expressing his/her intentions quite difficult and such people might even miss out on golden relationship opportunities. This can also result in a decline of the individual’s self-confidence because confidence and smelly mouth do not go hand in hand.

What should be done?

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  • Brushing of the teeth at least twice daily as recommended.
  • Avoid leaving the mouth dry for so long, hence take water regularly.
  • Avoid taking substances with high sugar content excessively.
  • Be conscious of the substances chewed and ingested also, protect the gum from extreme conditions.
  • After each meal, clean the mouth with an adequate quantity of water. 

When one is not so particular about the oral hygiene, it could grant access to various harmful organisms to cause diseases in the body. The relationship between oral health and body physiology necessitates the need to maintain a good oral hygiene.

In conclusion, it is said that first impressions last long though it can be followed by a better impression that will require more effort, so take the conscious effort of having a good oral hygiene so that when you approach people to communicate, your oral deficiency won’t put them off even before your words make an impression.

DENTAL HEALTH REDEFINED

One of the body parts that many have chosen to take lightly is the mouth and its health is very much as important as other parts of the body. This article is intended to widen your horizon and broaden your knowledge on dental health.

What is Dental Health?

Source: oresundsinfo.com

Dental is a term used in relation to one’s teeth (…relating to your teeth) and health is the general condition of your body. So combining these definitions, dental health is the general condition of your teeth. It goes further as to describing how clean it is, the strength of each tooth, the state of the gums and much more.

Are there myths about dental health?

We must have heard a lot of speculations about our teeth and its care, and most times we have been led on the wrong path of knowledge as these supposed truths don’t have medical backings and should be taken as a false message. 

Below are some of the myths associated with oral/dental health:

Source: arkansasfamilydental.com

 

  • Tooth decay is mainly caused by sugar: You must have heard that excessive consumption of sugary foods will cause tooth decay. This is not totally true. While sugar plays a role in tooth decay, it is not the main/only cause of tooth decay. Acids from naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth combine with saliva resulting in plaque build-up on the teeth.
  • Gum disease isn’t very common: A study by the Centres for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) indicates that 47 percent of adults from age 30 upwards have some form of gum disease. 64 percent of adults from age 65 upwards have either moderate or severe gum disease. So, gum disease is actually very common.
  • Having diabetes means you’ll have gum disease: This is not totally accurate as having diabetes is not a free pass to having gum disease. Though diabetes affects the processing of sugar in the body and thus may lead to issues with the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves. The poor regulation of the blood sugar makes it hard to curb common issues but it doesn’t cause an infection of the gums.Those who have diabetes can still do without having their gums infected; they just need to take adequate care of their teeth as much as every other part of the body.
  • The more you brush your teeth, the healthier they will be: Too much application of some activities is not good and such is the case of over-brushing the teeth. Over-brushing the teeth will not make them healthier or whiter, it will only tend to the wearing of the teeth due to the abrasive property of toothpaste. Constant rinsing of the mouth is advised instead and the twice-a-day brushing routine.
  • Teeth whitening are harmful as it can damage the teeth: “Nothing good comes easy” is a statement of fact as the whitening process is a good thing and it is not harmful and won’t affect the enamel when it is done professionally. There are various teeth whitening products, but it is better and safer to get a recommendation from the dentist and ensure that it is done by a professional or with the right procedure. Though it may cause gum redness on a short term,it isn’t harmful.

After carefully considering some common myths, it is expected to re-brand your knowledge on the topic.

Is brushing the teeth enough?

Source: drlangberg.com

In taking care of the teeth, brushing alone is not enough as there are parts the brush cannot reach and rinsing cannot clean, so there is a need to floss the teeth.Flossing helps to clean the teeth better as it cleans the spaces between the teeth. Floss comes with various qualities but it is safer to get a recommendation from your dentist than to go for any brand. Though they will all attempt to do the work, get a dentist to recommend one for you for safety reasons.

For effectiveness, flossing should be done daily and most preferably after brushing. It prevents gum diseases, tooth decay and also bad breath. It also has to be done right, so while getting a recommendation,you should confirm the procedure from the dentist.

DENTAL FLOSSING: A HABIT TO CULTIVATE

Source: yourdentalhealthpartners.com

As far as good dental health is concerned, flossing is a very key aspect to not just maintaining it but preventing the risk of contracting periodontal disease and other health issues that have been associated with poor dental hygiene.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services “flossing is an important oral hygiene practice”. The American Dental Association also prescribes flossing or cleaning of teeth at least once per day. Many studies have shown that simply brushing the teeth even twice per day is not enough to properly maintain good dental hygiene due to the fact that most brushes are unable to clean between the teeth and prevent plaque, cavities and gum disease. Failure to remove plaques by flossing or cleaning between the teeth can eventually lead to the formation of a rough harden substance called tartar which accumulates along the gum line and can only be removed by the dentist.

Reasons to Cultivate the Habit of Flossing

Source: telegraph.co.uk

Prevention of Mouth odor (Halitosis): Poor oral health inevitably leads to bad smell oozing out of the mouth. Cleaning between the teeth is essential to prevent plaque and consequently prevent halitosis, which may also result from gum disease and tooth decay.

Prevention of Gum Disease: The initial stage of gum disease is called gingivitis which could be due to not treating plaque accumulation. Plaques generally are composed of harmful micro-organisms like viruses, bacteria, and protozoa which act on the food particles between the teeth and around the gum line, causing an inflammation and if left untreated, could lead to gingivitis.

It should also be known that if gingivitis is left untreated, it can result in a more severe stage of the disease called periodontitis which breaksdown the alveolar bone that connects the teeth to the jaw, and this will inevitably lead to teeth loss. 

Prevention of Tartar Accumulation:Tartars are formed due to the calcifying action of saliva on dental plaques which accumulatearound the gum line without being removed for a period of time.A good oral hygiene which incorporates flossing is necessary to prevent the buildup of tartar which can only be removed by a dentist. Flossing is a critical habit that ensures that the plaques forming around the gum line when they are still soft and sticky can be easily removed before they harden up and become impossible to remove without visiting the dentist.

Prevention of Diabetes: One of the health conditions that are greatly influenced by poor oral health is diabetes. There is a great need to ensure proper dental health by brushing and flossing as tissue inflammation due to the activity of bacteria in the oral cavity is very common for those people who are suffering from diabetes.

Prevention of heart disease: In addition to the risk of contracting periodontal diseases, there is also the serious risk of having heart disease. Many studies have revealed a direct link between the bacteria that thrive in an unhealthy mouth, one of which is streptococcus, to serious health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory infections.

 

Good dental hygiene can easily be maintained since flossing only takes a couple of minutes every day. It is a small habit that one can acquire and adopt to prevent long term health issues.

 

Save money: Simply adopting a good dental health habit can be very beneficial financially as it will help reduce the cost of regularly visiting the dentist.

 

Simple Flossing Techniques

Source: tendercaredental.net

Flossing is very easy and cultivating a good flossing habit will not take up more than a few minutes of your time daily. The best flossing techniques include;

  • Select the ideal dental floss. 
  • Make use of the 18 inches long floss.
  • Wrap one end of the floss around either your middle or index finger
  • Grip the floss tightly between your thumb and finger.
  • Gently insert the dental floss between your teeth. 
  • Gently move the floss back and forth against the tooth on both sides and underneath the gum line.
  • Repeat this step several times.
  • Also, remember to floss around the backside of the tooth