In our lives, we all go through some rough patches. At times, the going gets too tough to be dealt with and before we know it, clinical depression steps in. It’s not something to be taken lightly and it takes a toll on all our body systems. The brain works slower and clumsier. Digestive system disorders prevail, like anorexia and bulimia. General body weakness is also manifested in patients with depression.

Another noted feature is when we stop taking care of ourselves. Self-destructive thoughts are common. Suicidal tendencies are heightened in the absence of proper attention. In this scenario, one thing that’s gravely overlooked is oral care.

Sandalwood Smiles, providers of the best dental care in Brampton, have established a positive correlation between deteriorated oral health and clinical depression. There are certain signs to look for in a patient that may indicate towards a co-existence of depression.

Patient Attitude

It’s not necessary that the patients suffering from clinical depression will look all gloomy. They may have a cheerful demeanor. But they’re not able to retain that for long. The tell-tale sign is when a patient is not pro-active towards his/her dental care. He/she has been bought to your clinic by a family member or a friend after months of coaxing. This shows that they are neglecting dental care and in turn, neglecting themselves.

Missed Appointments

Dental appointment is something that’s not to be missed. Even though missing dental appointments out of genuine reasons is quite acceptable, once a while. But patients with depression will tend to miss and reschedule appointments on a regular basis. Not turning up for treatments without any apparent reason can be attributed to self-neglect and under-estimating the importance of one’s health.

Dental assessment

On assessment, a dentist might find dental caries and early signs of periodontists. A delayed root canal treatment despite going through inconvenience and pain for months is another sign. There will be an evidence of improper oral care. Most likely, the regular brushing and flossing regime will be severely disturbed. Even the annual scaling would be absent.

It’s the duty of dental care providers, hygienists, dentists, and orthodontists to screen patients with clinical depression and see if they’re getting the attention they require. Don’t allow them to miss treatment appointments and have a compassionate attitude towards them. Before we adhere to a single minded approach and shrug our shoulders about depression not being our concern, we need to pause for a moment and think on humanitarian grounds. Only then we can be true healthcare providers.




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