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The Connections Between Mental and Oral Health

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The state of good health refers to being well and sound in all aspects of the body, both mentally and physically. Mental health, on its part, refers to an aspect of health that focuses on being mentally well and sound, while dental health is an aspect of physical health that focuses on being orally sound and well.

Both mental and dental health have specialists who proffer advice and guidance to their problems. These specialists are called Therapists and Dentists for mental health and dental health, respectively. These specialists are dedicated to helping you maintain good mental and dental health by offering guidance on activities and habits that will ensure good mental and dental health for you.

To the average person, mental health and dental health may seem different, with no possibilities of affecting each other. However, even though they are different, they are connected, as proven by The Smilist Dental in Park Massapequa, a group of a dedicated and experienced dental specialist.

This article will highlight the existing connections between mental health and oral health to help you understand better. We will also highlight some habits that can affect an individual’s mental and dental health.

Ways mental and oral health are connected

 Mental health deals with mental well-being, while oral health deals with dental or oral well-being. They are both areas of health and pats of general health that can influence each other. Poor mental health results in poor oral health, and vice versa.

The connection between mental and oral health is seen by how they both affect each other. These effects are classified into impacts, and they are:

  • Mental health impact on oral health
  • Oral health impact on mental health

Mental health impact on oral health

These impacts occur as a result of mental health issues. These mental health issues are expressed through specific behaviors that harm oral health. Some of these mental health issues are:

  • Depression. This is a mental or psychological issue characterized by low morale, lack of self-confidence, and need to enjoy life. A person who is depressed exhibits certain characters that are harmful to his health, including oral health.
  • Anxiety. This is the direct opposite of depression, and some may argue that it is not a mental health issue, but it is. Anxiety is a mental health issue characterised by an unpleasant state, uneasiness, apprehension, nervousness, and obsession. Similar to how depressed individuals exhibit specific habits, anxious individuals exhibit harmful characters to oral health.
  • Poor nutrition. Depressed or anxious individuals tend to practice poor nutrition by eating unhealthy foods like sugary foods that can cause tooth decay or cavities or unbalanced foods lacking in calcium, which weakens the tooth’s enamel. 
  • Use of drugs. Depressed or anxious individuals often turn to drugs used to help them forget or subdue the pain this problem causes them. The use of harmful drugs or excess drugs (drug abuse) results in oral cancer, bulimia, and more.
  • Smoking and alcohol use. These habits have the same harmful oral health effect as drugs. Another effect of this habit that is not noticed above is dry mouth and mouth sores. Smoking and the use of alcohol have a high tendency to result in these oral health issues.
  • Forgetfulness. Another habit displayed by depressed or anxious individuals is that they forget to practice oral hygiene, like brushing regularly and dental sessions.

Oral health impact on mental health

Oral health issues do result in mental health issues, and they are:

  • Tooth decay and cavities: Individuals suffering from these oral issues tend to socialize less because of fear of being mocked, resulting in them being depressed. They do not express themselves and are always uneasy or nervous around people, which are anxiety traits.
  • Mouth odor. Individuals with this issue suffer from psychological issues like low self-esteem.

How good oral health habits affects mental health

Similar to how bad oral health affects mental health, good oral health practice affects mental health. These practices are:

  • Visiting the dentist. Regular visits to the dentist help improve oral and mental health because individuals with oral issues get advice that helps improve their issues resulting in them being mentally well.
  • Brushing regularly and eating healthy foods. By regularly brushing daily and eating foods, the body is supplied with nutrients that are helpful to the teeth.


Mental Health and oral health are connected because individuals suffering from some dental health problems might experience a mental health breakdown because of the pain, humiliation, self-esteem issues, etc. That often goes with bad oral health. Hence, it is always best to practice good oral habits to avoid these problems.

Robert Haynes did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health and well-being.

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