Are Your Gums Making You Depressed?

If anyone says that there’s no such thing as seasonal depression, they haven’t survived a winter here in the Northwest.

The good news for those of us living around here: Spring is almost here. That means we’re only about 4 more months away from consistent sunlight. When do locals say summer starts in Seattle? The day after July 4th!

All humor aside, seasonal depression is real, and depression of any kind is no joke. Almost 10% of the world’s population suffers from some form of depression. And now it seems that there’s yet another culprit that can lead to depression – gum disease.

Are your gums making you depressed?

Recent studies suggest a link between gum disease and depression. In one study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, researchers found that people who had severe periodontitis (dental lingo for gum disease) were more likely to experience symptoms of depression than those with less advanced gum disease.

One theory is that the chronic inflammation associated with gum disease may contribute to depression by triggering changes in the brain.

The relationship between gum disease and depression is likely to be complex and may involve other factors, such as stress, social isolation (hello, COVID!), and lifestyle factors such as smoking and poor diet.

While more research is needed to fully understand the link between gum disease and depression, it’s still very clear that good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups are important for both your oral health and your overall wellbeing.

Treating Gum Disease

We can’t treat depression, but we can definitely help keep your gums happy.

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection that affects the gums and other tissues surrounding the teeth. It typically starts with the accumulation of plaque on the teeth, which hardens into tartar if not removed through proper oral hygiene.

Treatment for gum disease depends on the severity of the condition. At its early stage, it can often be reversed with teeth cleanings and improved oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly.

It truly is time well spent to come in twice a year for your dental exams so that we can monitor your gums for gum disease and treat it early on. This alone will help reduce more serious consequences to your oral and overall health.

If you believe you have gum disease, please call us at (206) 242-0066 to schedule an exam and consultation, or request your appointment online. We’ll review the health of your gums and, based on the level of your gum disease, we’ll help you develop a treatment plan to eliminate it, or help you effectively manage it.

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