How Depression Causes Toothache

How Depression Causes Toothache

Thanks to modern science, it’s hard to ignore the link between mental and oral health. Nearly 70% of patients with depression report experiencing a toothache. There’s plenty of evidence that connects gum disease to mood conditions like stress, depression, loneliness, trauma, anxiety, and distress.

At Newport Dental Group, Dr. Saghatchi and have met with patients who have excellent oral health with no symptom of any disease but report throbbing tooth pain.


Depression initiates stress that manifests itself in the body as a hormone called cortisol. Rising cortisol levels weaken the immunity system, leaving you vulnerable to oral conditions like gum disease and inflammation. Moreover, depression medications can cause dry mouth. With less saliva, harmful bacteria stay longer on the teeth’ surface, forming plaque to build up, leading to cavities.

Continuous depression can lead to poor habits like teeth grinding, which generate additional jaw muscle stress. This can result in muscle spasms, causing dull pain, which can radiate to teeth, neck, or even shoulder. This pain usually appears in the morning, showing a particular pattern, and many patients have reported jaw clicking during opening or closure.

If you maintain good oral health but still experience toothaches, we recommend visiting Dr. Saghatchi and at Newport Dental Group


If depression is the cause of your toothache, healthy practices like yoga, meditation, or a sporting activity can make a difference by lowering cortisol levels. The best you can do to maintain your oral health is to follow the basics – brushing and flossing daily, avoiding sugary drinks, and eating healthy. In a nutshell, taking care of your depression and anxiety can improve oral health.