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Tooth Loss Linked with Anxiety, Depression

Tooth Loss Linked with Anxiety and DepressionA new study suggests dental problems are often associated with a variety of biosocial conditions including depression and anxiety.

The study was presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research.

R. Constance Wiener, Ph.D., from West Virginia University, found that tooth loss from caries and periodontal disease is an outcome that is often linked with complex, chronic conditions.

Commonly, several biopsychosocial factors influence dental health, including self-worth, self-esteem, and care access. Individuals reporting dental anxiety may avoid dental care, and individuals with depression may be negligent in self-care.

In the study, researchers examined a potential association of tooth loss with depression and anxiety.

Investigators analyzed results from The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Survey, a complex, telephone survey of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments.

Researchers used BRFSS 2010 data that included 451,075 respondents. From this data set, investigators performed statistical analysis on participants 19 years and older who had responded to questions related to depression, anxiety, and tooth loss.

Altogether, there were 292 eligible participants with 13.4 percent of participants reporting anxiety, 16.7 percent depression, and 5.7 percent total tooth loss.

The sample was evenly distributed between males and females; there were 68.7 percent non-Hispanic whites, 12.7 percent non-Hispanic blacks, 12.5 percent Hispanics, and 6.8 percent other.

Analysis determined that depression, anxiety, and a combined category of depression or anxiety were significantly associated with tooth loss (p <0.0001) when compared to participants without the conditions.

Source: International & American Associations for Dental Research
Man receiving dental care photo by shutterstock.

Tooth Loss Linked with Anxiety, Depression

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Tooth Loss Linked with Anxiety, Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 26, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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