It’s no secret that tooth loss is the result of dental caries (cavities) or advanced periodontitis (gum disease). But the underlying reasons for these conditions are diverse, complex, and many times point to more troubling conditions. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most recent research about tooth decay and also describe how our office uses laser technology to help fight the problem.

Recent Study Links Tooth Loss to Anxiety and Depression

In late March, researchers from the University of West Virginia in Morgantown presented the results of a national study. The researchers wanted to see if there was a link between anxiety, depression, and tooth loss. Using a broad survey taken by the Centers for Disease Control, the researchers analyzed the data to see if there was a statistical difference in people who reported tooth loss and in people who reported anxiety and/or depression as well as tooth loss. Their analysis found a significant numerical difference between the two categories. “Individuals reporting dental anxiety may avoid dental care; and individuals with depression may be negligent in self-care,” the researchers said when they published their results. “At the conclusion of this national study, [we] found that depression and anxiety are associated with tooth loss.

Main Symptoms of Tooth Decay

The good news is that tooth loss and dental decay are fixable problems. But to solve the problem, it must first be discovered. The following symptoms are strong indicators of tooth decay or gum disease:

  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

How We Can Help

At our office, we use the KaVo DIAGNOdent system to help identify decay at the earliest possible stage. This laser detection aid can identify even very small lesions and incipient caries, enabling us to protect and preserve the patient’s tooth substance. By using this highly advanced detection system, we can stop tooth decay well before the tooth structure is threatened.

So if you have any of the symptoms discussed above, contact our office (Call 904-384-4391, message us on Facebook, or email and schedule an appointment. We are always willing to help our Jacksonville patients with any dental care need.