Does deficient dental health lead to depression?
Researchers say that it might, the most recent findings reveal that there are several factors of poor dental health that may cause depression.
Inflammation is ongoing with dental decay and periodontal disease, which is now known to play havoc with bodily systems. An infection doesn't just stay in the mouth; a look at the National Heath and Nutrition Examination Survey found that gum disease is a precursor for blood vessel and artery disease. It was also found that those with gum disease had a higher risk of stroke.
So how exactly does oral infection lead to depression? Deakin University reports that the more negative dental conditions a person has, the more likely he is to be depressed, or more severely depressed.
The study goes on to say that poor dental health may be the result of depression, in that a depressed person may not perform adequate dental hygiene. The resultant pain and lowered self-esteem may increase despondency.
Turhan Canli, an associate professor of psychology at Stony Brook University, thinks differently. In his report, he makes note of the fact that pathogens in the brain can mimic psychiatric disturbances. Two analyses from 2010-2012 collected information from 53 studies. The findings confirmed that inflammatory processes in the brain are linked to psychiatric symptoms, including depression. A Danish study published in 2013 stated that persons with a history of hospitalization due to infection had a 62 percent more likelihood of later developing a mood disorder like depression.
Today, researchers are postulating that depression is usually accompanied by some form of chronic inflammatory reaction. Alzheimer's disease is clearly linked, and those suffering chronic depression are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease later in life.
Dr. Meryl Butters, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, states that depression is toxic to the brain. She suggests aggressive treatment for inflammatory diseases that may lead to depression and Alzheimer's disease.
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