The body is more connected than we think. Your oral health has consequences that impact both your mind and body. There is a direct link between mental health and oral health. According to NCBI, people who experience mental illness also suffer from poor oral health. Oral health can affect mental health and vice versa.
How Mental Health Affects Oral Health
Mental health problems like depression, anorexia, and schizophrenia have negative impacts on your oral health. People with mental health problems are more likely to have oral health problems like missing teeth. The following are ways in which various mental health problems affect oral health:
Bruxism is a condition in which you grind, scrunch, or clench your teeth. Bruxism is mainly linked with some mental health issues like epilepsy, sleep apnea, eating disorders, anxiety, and Parkinson’s disease. In severe cases, bruxism can result in teeth that are flattened, flaked, or loose. Teeth grinding happens mostly in toddlers, especially during the night. Your child might be healthy but grind their teeth; in this case, the main reason can be misaligned teeth. The good news is that you can stop bruxism caused by misaligned teeth, thanks to the Inman Aligner by Ten Dental.
Patients who have dementia are likely to forget about proper oral hygiene. The patient might also forget if they have already taken care of their health. This, in turn, leads to tooth decay and gum diseases.
Depression and schizophrenia
Patients who are suffering from depression and schizophrenia are likely to ignore their oral health, which can lead to tooth decay and gum diseases.
Many people suffering from anxiety disorders have dental phobia. As a result, they stop seeing their dentists, and that can have a severe impact on their oral health.
Bipolar disorders and Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior (OCD)
Patients who have bipolar disorders and OCD are most of the time enthusiastic about brushing, mouth washing, and flossing, which can seriously cause damage to the teeth as well as the gums.
Patients who suffer from conditions like Bulimia usually have extra acid in their mouths due to vomiting. High levels of acid in the mouth lead to dental erosion. Low levels of calcium are also typical in these patients, which can affect their oral health.
How Oral Health Affects Mental Health
When ignored oral health can damage the sense of personal worth as well as self-esteem, which can be harmful to your mental health. Additionally, crooked teeth and misaligned bites can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. Bacteria from oral diseases like gingivitis can travel through the bloodstream to the brain and cause inflammation and destruction of the neurons, leading to mental illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Regular dental checkups and good oral hygiene can help you keep your mouth healthy and reduce the risk of developing mental health problems. Additionally, if you are experiencing any of the above mental health issues, it is essential that you take good care of your mouth to prevent the condition from worsening.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.