What is the connection between oral health and mental health? Well, we can look at it this way: oral health influences general and mental health; thus, excellent oral health is needed for excellent general health and mental health. Without excellent oral health, an individual is bound to experience a drop in mental health. Similarly, poor mental health can result in bad oral health.
Also, a trait of strong and excellent mental health is sharpness (being mentally sharp). When an individual lacks excellent mental health, there is the absence of sharpness needed to sustain excellent oral health. Dentists have discovered the essence of maintaining excellent dental health and mental health. This is why most dental centres, like the Altima Hamilton Dental Centre, see the need to include sessions where they can discuss with patients who come for dental visits.
The sessions serve more as therapies to keep the patient on track and mentally stable to ensure they maintain excellent oral health. This article will outline how dental health and mental health are related by highlighting the influence of mental health on oral health and my talk health. Please ensure to read to the end for more eye-opening information.
The influence of mental health on oral health
Mental health affects oral health in the following ways:
- Disregarding oral care. Individuals with some mental disorders tend not to regard their mental health. They neglect it. For example, someone undergoing depression from some circumstance allows their selves to get lost in the condition and will not remember when to observe oral hygiene habits. Some consume things that are not healthy, like cigarettes and alcohol, which cause a deterioration in their oral health, leading to oral health issues.
- Food. As mentioned earlier, people with mental disorders do not need to pay attention to what they eat; eating a lot of junk food and substances can be dangerous to not only their oral health but their health in general.
- Avoiding the dentist. Visiting the dentist comes to mind if one has a mental disorder. They are so absorbed in problems and thought that even if they are experiencing a dental issue, no matter how severe it is, they refuse to visit the dentist.
The influence of oral health on mental health
Having considered some of the ways mental health can affect your oral health, let’s now take some time to also look at the influence of dental health on your mental well-being. Oral health affects dental health in the following ways:
- Low self-esteem. Individuals who have a dental issue, for example, mouth odour or coloured teeth, tend to feel ashamed when amongst people resulting in them having low self-esteem. They are timid, cannot fully express themselves, and are afraid of critics from people around them.
- Depression. The feelings of depression strongly relate to oral health; depression makes it hard for an individual to fight off infection, especially in the case of oral health. People with bad breath or coloured teeth, or even a few teeth due to teeth loss, quickly undergo depression because they are not to smile or talk to another person.
- Anxiety. Anxiety is caused by oral or dental flaws, and thinking of the critics of other people, which makes individuals with oral health issues always be on their own.
- Eating disorder. How you eat and what you eat highly affects your mental health. Look at it this way, a tiny part of the food taken stays on your teeth and, due to the neglect of oral health, causes teeth infection and eventually teeth decay. These problems are severe pain affecting how you think and your daily activities.
- Pain: when your teeth are infected or decay as a result of what you eat and neglect your part in your oral hygiene, it comes with severe pain that disturbs the way you think, your level of concentration, and overall effectiveness in your day-to-day activities.
Oral health and mental health are two things that have a strong connection with each other; as a matter of fact, research is still being done to uncover more links between them. Most people with mental disorders have been found to have bad oral health resulting from the abovementioned and even worse factors. Likewise, many people with bad oral health have been discovered with developmental issues that may worsen if not treated. Individuals should generally ensure good oral health by constantly visiting the dentist, and those undergoing some mental issues due to poor oral health visit a dentist and a therapist.
David Radar did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.