Updated: Aug 16, 2020
How does your oral health affect your mental health?
Good oral health not only improves your overall health, it enhances your self-image and quality of life. The poor diet and irregular routines of people experience severe depression or any type of abuse in their life can result in them missing the warning signs of cavity forming and so lead to developing further illness and infection. So, it is not fallacious to say that bad teeth can adversely affect our mental health.
Is there a connection between oral health and mental health?
The link is very hard to ignore. In various studies, people with mental health problems have reported cases of toothaches as well as other dental issues.
In the dental context, quality of life considers an individual's level of pain, ability to function dentally and the psychological impact of their dental state. As many dental diseases such as periodontal disease, caries, and tooth wear have causative factors related to lifestyle factors such as diet, nutrition and tobacco use, it may be that this leads to higher prevalence of dental diseases in this population. Additionally, mental illness, especially with increased severity, leads to deterioration in self-care, with oral health having a low priority.
Older people with missing teeth, gum disease or multiple cavities may be at higher risk of experiencing mental decline or dementia. Older people with poorer short-term memories or dementia may experience more oral health problems because they forget to complete daily tooth brushing and flossing tasks, or they can’t recall whether they did so.
Simple ways to maintain good dental health:
1. Brushing and flossing your teeth properly to minimise any caries in future
2. Visit your dentist at least twice a year to monitor and treat cavities, plaque or serious problems like gum disease which lead to any inflammation which can affect your mental health.
3. Avoid sugary foods and soft drinks as they have a load of sugar, which makes it easy for plaque to form, which in turn is linked to cavities and gum disease. They are also highly acidic, eroding your tooth enamel bit by bit every time you drink them and sugary foods.
4. Avoid smoking as smoking has consistently been linked with gum disease and is associated with heart disease.
5. De-stress yourself as studies show that chronic stress has an adverse effect on our health and people having stress have higher levels of plaque and gingivitis.
6. Try to limit alcohol intake.
We are here with you every step of your wellness journey, providing personalised treatments and self-help strategies so you can achieve the healthy teeth and gums you want. Call us today to book an appointment to see how we can help you.