Your smile has a lot to do with your state of mind. It may seem far-fetched, but even if you fake a smile, your overall mood tends to improve. Numerous psychologists have found that patients with forced smiles on their faces experience higher levels of humor and happiness.
However, smiling can seem like a chore when you suffer from depression and anxiety. That's especially true if you have dental issues that make you self-conscious about your smile — not only will you miss out on the benefits of occasionally faking a smile, but you'll also tend to subconsciously suppress your natural smile. That can make your depression even worse over time, and your anxiety about the appearance of your teeth will stack on top of all the other things you're already anxious about in your life.
Luckily, modern dental technology makes it easy to regain the perfect bright smile of your youth. While fixing your smile won't cure your depression and anxiety over night, it's definitely one of many steps in the right direction to overcoming your mental illness.
Dental Implants and Artificial Teeth
The ill-fitting, metallic fake teeth you often see in the mouths of movie villains are a thing of the past. Modern dental technology allows dentists to digitally scan your teeth and create perfect replicas to restore your smile.
First, your dentist will install a dental implant in the bone tissue beneath your gums. The implant works as an anchor so that an artificial tooth can be permanently fixed on top. Your dentist will use 3D printing technology to build the replacement tooth from the digital scan of your actual tooth so that it will be impossible to tell your tooth was ever missing. You'll be able to smile as confidently as ever. Plus, any speech impediment created by your missing tooth will be cured, so you'll speak more confidently too. Your newfound confidence will do wonders for your depression and anxiety disorder.
Professional Tooth Whitening
Having stains on your teeth can severely hurt your self-confidence and make you subconsciously less likely to smile. While there are numerous at-home methods for whitening your teeth, none are as effective as the whitening procedures that your dentist can perform. Your dentist has access to more powerful bleaching agents that will keep your teeth white for years to come.
If your teeth are severely stained, ask your dentist about laser whitening procedures. Your dentist will apply a whitening agent to your teeth then use a high-tech laser system to catalyze the chemicals and make them bond to your teeth. In some cases, laser whitening can make your teeth six shades lighter. Your teeth will be brighter than ever, and you'll find yourself smiling much more often with renewed confidence and self-esteem.
Fixing Your Gums
There are a multitude of factors that can cause your gums to recede. Even if you don't contract any periodontal diseases, gum recession can occur if you brush your teeth too hard or if excessive plaque builds up under your gums. Gum recession not only makes your smile unsightly, but it can also lead to more severe dental problems if left unchecked.
Your dentist can prescribe a number of medications that will halt your receding gums and preserve your smile as it is. However, if your gums have receded too severely, you may have to have surgery to repair the tissue. The two most common surgical options are flap surgery and tissue grafting. If you opt for flap surgery, your dentist will peel back your gum tissue and perform a deep cleaning procedure to restore the health of your gums. If you opt for a tissue graft, your dentist will graft a piece of bone or synthetic tissue beneath your gums to stimulate them to grow back.
There's no easy way to cure depression and anxiety. However, the boost in confidence and self-esteem you'll experience when you have a perfect smile will go a long way toward improving your mental health. For more information and options to improve your smile, click here for more info or talk with a local dentist in your area.