In the most recent edition of JADA (J. of American Dental Assoc.) a study is linking depression and anxiety with tooth loss. We see this on a daily basis, where people’s dental anxiety prevents them from seeking timely dental treatment. Some patients will even wait until the have a severe dental infection or swelling of the face before they present for treatment…pain seems to be a good motivator.
This is exactly what was examined by researchers at WVU, because people were reporting that dental anxiety was leading to avoidance in dental care and those with depression were neglecting in self-care.
Using data from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and BRFSS (Prevention’s 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System) survey, researchers found that among the 76,292 participants who were 19 years or older, 13.4 percent reported having anxiety, 16.7 percent depression and 5.7 percent total tooth loss. Researchers also found that participants with depression, anxiety or a combination of both, had different levels of tooth loss than did participants who did not have depression, anxiety or a combination of both.
Here is a link to the actual article: http://jada.ada.org/content/145/5/426.2.full.pdf+html