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Mental Health and Dental Health

The Link Between Dental and Mental Health

When you see something beautiful, food that you like or anything that pleases you, the one thing that involuntarily comes is a smile. A hearty smile! Well, it is a known fact that when your oral/dental health is affected even in the slightest way, it makes you feel extremely uncomfortable. Doesn’t it? So here’s a brief understanding of how poor dental health can affect an individual’s mental health and wellbeing. Read on…

Oral hygiene has a direct impact on overall health and we’ve discussed this quite in detail in our previous blog. In fact, diabetes and heart disease are the most common conditions that are interlinked with dental health. Similarly, if you dive deep into how adverse the effects of poor dental health are, the first thing you will come across is mental health.

Clinical depression is an increasing health condition affecting over 264 million people worldwide. There are numerous factors that cause depression and dental health is one of the most common reasons. Let’s take a look at how dental health is affected when an individual has mental illness and vise versa..

Depression leading to dental problems

Depression is aggravated by excess or uncontrollable intake of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco etc. The possibility of tooth decay, gum inflammation and gingivitis also increases. This further leads to other health conditions that can worsen the overall health of the person. Depression also is a leading cause of self-neglect that results in poor oral hygiene and complications of dental health.

Bipolar disorder is another serious mental condition that causes over-brushing which damages the gums and causes gingival lacerations, dental abrasion and mucosal lacerations. Patients with bipolar disorder undergo treatment with lithium and are at a higher risk of xerostomia and stomatitis. Antipsychotic medications, antidepressants, and mood stabilizer drugs may also include a higher risk of oral bacterial infections.

Dental problems leading to mental illnesses

Dental issues can start with simple habits that you might not realise are unhealthy. For example; using a proper toothbrush, not flossing your teeth regularly, chewing tobacco, not chewing food properly, and many others. Poor dental health also largely affects speech, that causes significant social anxiety. Certain food habits cause tooth decay and sometimes can cause severe damage to the root of the tooth leading to tooth loss especially if the infection spreads.Tooth loss can make one lose confidence and low self esteem, further leading to isolation from social circle. Likewise, bad breath is a common problem that arises from unhealthy food and hygiene habits that can result in severe social anxiety. People with mental health problems are 2.8 times more susceptible to tooth loss which affects their physical appearance, self-esteem, and self-image.

Dental health is not just a small part of the para medical field. It completes the circle of health. It is a vital aspect of being physically and mentally healthy apart from just having a bright smile. Good dental health enhances mental health as it promotes the feel good factor about oneself. Also, to bring you a smile at the end of this article, they rhyme bright! So, watch your oral health and save yourself from going dentally mental! Call us now if you feel the need to get your oral health check done!