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Can My Dentist Cure Depression? The Surprising Role of Inflammation in Mental Health

Inflammation triggers psychological withdrawal: useful for short-term sickness, but harmful to mental health in the long-term.

Inflammation is increasingly billed as the root cause of a dizzying range of psychiatric conditions, from depression to addiction, anxiety to schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder to autism. But what is behind the hype? Find out here.

In fact, whilst inflammation is most familiar to us as part of the body’s normal immune response to a physical injury, infection or irritation, it does also lead to psychological changes that affect motivation, activity and arousal. Whilst these responses are useful in short-term sickness behaviour, as a response to chronic general inflammation they are harmful to mental health in the long-term.

Treating inflammatory conditions such as gum disease reduces the inflammatory load on the body - so yes: dental treatment might help improve depression and general mental health.

Intriguingly, our usual 'lifestyle foes' of poor diet, lack of exercise, poor sleep and stress also lead to general inflammation in the body, providing yet more reasons for improvements in our lifestyles for the sake of mental health. See full article here.

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