Oral Connections

Patients suffering with depressive symptoms and undergoing specialized treatments require detailed oral hygiene care. Oftentimes, their depression may have led them to consume non-nutritious diets consisting of highly cariogenic drinks, snacks, and retentive fermentable carbohydrates, all contributing factors for dental caries. Dietary inadequacies have been associated with depressive mood disorders.48 Preventive dietary care is certainly recommended along with specialized oral hygiene instructions. Medications used to treat depression often create xerostomia; additional oral manifestations such as burning mouth syndrome and candidiasis48 can potentially develop, requiring detailed home care measures. Xerostomia can intensify gingival, periodontal and caries progression requiring specialized home care products tailored to address specific needs. Signs and symptoms consistent with depressive disorders typically display low motivation for self-care or total rejection of any health interest. Sensitive care and stress-free appointments are suggested when treating these individuals in order to respect their well-being and emotional status. Any abnormal behavior, distraught or angry feelings should be shared with their care provider immediately.