Poor Oral Health is Linked to Depression: Implications for Public Health

A 2014 research project confirmed the link between poor oral health and depression, a relevant finding that can help in improving public health.  Oral health plays a significant role in the mental condition of a person, a two-way relationship that can become complex. On the one hand, dental care and treatments may produce anxieties and phobias. However, the absence of good oral hygiene can cause tooth problems, gum diseases, infections and other complications. Medications for mental health issues also produce side effects such as teeth grinding and dry mouths. The Importance of Oral Health and the Science Behind It Two National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) examined the relationship of dental health and depression. Oral health questionnaires (OHQ) were used as bases for dental health while depression was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Using logistic regression to measure the … Read more

Depression Drugs (SSRIs) Linked to Dental Implant Failure

The Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) drugs are known to be the most widely used for depression. In a new study by the International and American Associations for Dental Research it has shown that SSRIs can reduce bone formation and lead to an increased risk of bone fracture. The study looked specifically at osseointegration implants and the risk of failures. The study was conducted on patients with dental implants from January 2007 to January 2013. A total of 916 dental implants in 490 patients were explored with 94 implants on 51 patients using SSRIs. The specific data analysis used generalized estimation equations models and Kaplain-Meier analysis. After 3 to 67 months of follow-up, 38 dental implants failed and 784 were successful in those without SSRIs and 10 dental implants failed an 84 were successful in SSRI users. When compared with … Read more

Electric Stimulation of Brain Releases Powerful Painkiller

Researchers have been exploring delivering electricity through sensors on the skulls of chronic migraine patients and have found a decrease in the intensity of pain of their headaches. A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry has shown that when electricity is sent to certain regions in the brain of a patient with chronic, severe facial pain it releases an opiate-like substance and powerful painkiller. In the study, researchers administered a radiotracer that reached important brain areas in a patient with trigeminal neuropathic pain. They then applied electrodes and electrically stimulated the skull right above the motor cortex  for 20 minutes during a PET scan which is known as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). The radiotracer was designed to measure the local brain release of mu-opioid, a natural substance that alters pain perception. The researchers argue that this is the … Read more

Behavioral Issues Come to Children with Migraine

A new study in Cephalagia shows that children who have migraine headaches are much more likely than other children to also have behavioral difficulties, including social and attention issues, and anxiety and depression. This is no surprise to me. Marco Arruda, director of the Glia Institute in São Paulo, Brazil, together with Marcelo Bigal of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York studied 1,856 Brazilian children aged 5 to 11. The authors were studying how children’s behavioural and emotional symptoms correlate with migraine and tension-type headaches. Children who experience migraine had a much greater overall likelihood of abnormal behavioral scores than controls, especially in social, attention, somatic, anxiety-depressive, and internalizing domains. Children who experience tension-type headaches were affected in the same domains as migraine sufferers, but to a lesser degree. For children with either migraine (23%) or tension-type … Read more

Using Adaptogens to Help Reduce Stress

An interesting review by Robert Provino titled “The role of adaptogens in stress management” appears in the Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism (2010, 22, 2, pp 41-49). The author states: “Adaptogens can be viewed as tonics and are prescribed to enhance vitality and are indicated when stress levels are high, during convalescence after surgery or illness, or during periods of challenging or difficult life changes.” “Adaptogens appear to exert their antistress effects by regulating homeostasis via the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and inhibiting or decreasing circulating levels of nitric oxide (NO) and cortisol.” The author searches peer reviewed journal articles on adaptogens and ends up finding papers on the following 8 (to which I have linked to the Wikipedia articles): Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) : Some research indicates a potential ability to decrease anxiety. In a study on memory deficient … Read more