Relationship between oral health and depression: data from the National Health Survey 2016–2017

Tomás Palomer, Valeria Ramírez*, Duniel Ortuño

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the relationship between oral health status, self-perception of oral health, and depression. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 2953 individuals that were ≥ 18 years of age and participated in the Chilean National Health Survey (NHS), 2016–2017. Information on oral, dental, and mental health, and the presence or absence of depressive symptoms was collected. Secondary data analysis was carried out using STATA and included logistic regression models adjusted for sex, age, and educational level. The analyses factored in the expansion weights to estimate representative prevalences of the entire population. Results: Participants experiencing frequent dental or prosthesis-related discomfort while speaking (OR: 1.57; 95% CI: 1.01–2.43) were related with exhibiting suspected depression. Removable upper denture users were at a higher risk of exhibiting suspected (OR: 2.04; 95% CI: 1.11–3.74) than those not using them. Participants diagnosed with depression in the past 12 months had a similar number of teeth (median = 24) compared to those without depression (median = 25) (OR: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.96–1.02). Conclusion: Experiencing dental or prosthesis-related difficulties in speaking is related to suspected depression or a diagnosis of depression. These findings highlight the importance of developing comprehensive healthcare approaches that consider mental health in the context of oral health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Oral Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • Depression
  • Health surveys
  • Mental health
  • Oral health
  • Self-assessment


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