Anxiety Disorders and Dental Health
Anxiety disorders affect about eighteen percent of the adult population in the United States and are considered the most common mental illness in the country. These disorders, which include PTSD, phobias, anxiety attacks, and generalized anxiety, are linked with serious dental health problems, including canker sores, Lichen Planus, dry mouth, bruxism, TMJD, and burning mouth syndrome.
Some of the medications used to treat anxiety can decrease saliva flow, which can cause dry mouth, and increase the risk of decay and gum disease. Decreased saliva flow is easy to treat. You might need to take steps to ensure you are well-hydrated, and chew sugar-free gum to keep your saliva stimulated. Other side effects of anti-anxiety medications can include bleeding, vomiting, and anemia, which can increase the risk of gum disease, acid erosion, and tooth decay. Good dental hygiene can help combat these issues, as can proper preventive dental care.
Anxiety can also affect dental health by increasing the risk of dental neglect, particularly if the anxiety is related to dental treatment. If you have an anxiety disorder, suffer from dental anxiety, or use an anti-anxiety medication, let us know at your next dental checkup. We can take steps to make your dental experience less stressful for you and ensure that every precaution is taken to ensure both your comfort and dental health. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your next appointment with our dentist in North Hollywood.
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