Tooth loss is often a result of a variety of factors. One may experience tooth loss as a result of periodontal disease or severe caries. A new study led by R. Constance Wiener of West Virginia University has concluded that tooth loss is associated with complex, chronic conditions like anxiety or depression.
The association is complicated and has to do with a lot of biopsychosocial factors. For instance, a person suffering from depression is more likely to neglect their oral health. Alternatively, a person with a lot of anxiety may avoid the dentist due to dental anxiety.
This study looked at surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These surveys also concluded that people in the 46 – 64 year age bracket, women, blacks, Hispanics, and those that are unemployed were more likely to meet the criteria for major depression.
Tooth loss can lead to a host of negative consequences including speech problems, stiff jaws, chewing problems, and the weakening of remaining teeth. There are many tooth replacement options available from dental implants to fixed bridges — all of which look like real teeth! Dental implants are often the most expensive option, but are considered to be the most comfortable. An implant consists of an artificial root inserted into the bone and is covered with a crown that mimics a real tooth. A fixed bridge is made up of a group of crowns fixed together and use the neighboring, existing teeth to anchor it in place.
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