Two Ways Dental Implants May Help Alleviate Depression

Posted on: 5 November 2015

Depression is a mood disorder characterized by the person feeling a cocktail of distressing emotions such as sadness, anxiety, and hopelessness for an extended period of time. There are a variety of causes and treatments for this condition, but one thing that may help a person rebound from it is getting dental implants. Here are two ways these oral appliances may assist with alleviating depression.

Improve Physical Health

A number of oral health problems develop when a person loses teeth due to disease or trauma. The teeth surrounding the empty space may shift, throwing off the individual's bite and making it more difficult to eat food. Missing teeth also make people more susceptible to gum disease, cavities, and bone loss in the jaw, all of which can have a negative impact on the person's physical health.

For instance, the inability to eat properly could cause the person to avoid certain foods and miss out on necessary vitamins and minerals that can help boost and stabilize mood, such as walnuts and lentils. The bacterium that causes gum disease can travel to other parts of the body such as the heart and brain and wreck havoc on those tissues.

Getting dental implants can help resolve both of these issues. First, the implants typically improve chewing function, allowing people to eat healthier foods that support brain and body health. Second, the dentist will typically treat periodontal disease before putting in the implants, which can reduce the effect oral bacteria have on the person's system. The implant fills in the gap left by lost teeth, reducing bacteria's access to the blood stream. The net result is the person's physical health may improve which can have a positive effect on their mental health.

Improve Self-Esteem

In addition to making the individual self-conscious, missing teeth can also change a person's facial structure and contribute to premature aging. This, in turn, may lead to low self-esteem that contributes to the person's depressed feelings. Replacing those missing teeth with dental implants can restore some of the youthfulness to the person's face and increase their self-confidence.

For example, one study on the impact dental implants had on the health and quality of life of participants found people's mental state improved after receiving the procedure.

Dental implants, of course, are not a miracle cure and people should continue following their treatment plan as prescribed by their doctors. However, implants can have a positive impact on a depressed person's mental and physical health. It's a good idea to contact a dentist or cosmetic surgeon, like those at Vegas Dental Experts, to see how dental implants can help you.