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.