Does having depression affect my oral health and/or diabetes?

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Depression can certainly affect your ability to care for yourself or seek care from your doctor or dental health professional. Feeling sad is disabling in ways that can affect your oral health and diabetes. Depression is distracting, and reduces your motivation to perform even the most common of daily tasks, like brushing and flossing, or even eating.

Everyone knows it's very important to eat a healthy diet and to brush your teeth regularly after meals, but people who are depressed may not have an appetite. Not eating or drinking can lead to dehydration, decreased flow of saliva, dry mouth, bad breath, and lack of proper brushing can allow bacteria to grow unchecked. This can cause serious problems with blood glucose control ie take too much insulin, not enough, or none at all. Too much insulin and not enough food can lead to insulin shock. Too little insulin and too much food can lead to diabetic coma. While getting motivated to eat or treat your depression may be difficult, help can be found with your support network and doctor. A family practice physician is trained and very experienced in prescribing an antidepressant if indicated.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.