The interrelation between oral health and mental health

Oral Health

We know that our mental health and physical health are connected in such a way that one cannot be attained if we neglect the other. But we tend to overlook the most important aspect of our physical health i.e., Oral health.

Good oral hygiene can improve the way of your life by preventing discomfort due to toothache or decay, preventing periodontal diseases, and bad breath. It can keep you away from many medical disorders and help you keep your natural teeth as you grow older.

How does bad Oral health lead to Mental health issues?

Improper oral hygiene and neglect could lead to embarrassment in social situations, this could affect your confidence and could lead to lower performance and anxiety.

Poor oral hygiene is known to cause cardiovascular diseases, respiratory and liver diseases with an increase in bacteria in the bloodstream, which could incidentally cause anxiety and depression in patients.

Evidence suggests that bad oral health and prolonged gum problems could lead to Dementia. Scientists have previously found a bacteria called Porphyromonas gingivalis that can move from mouth to brain and damage nerve tissue. Loss of nerve cells could lead to Alzheimer’s.

How does mental health affect oral health?

People with mental disorders like Schizophrenia and Bipolar syndrome tend to over brush their teeth causing the enamel and dentin to erode leading to teeth sensitivity and swelling in gums. Bad breath is also a common medical problem seen in many patients with poor mental health.

Depression could cause bad oral health due to neglect which in turn causes loss of teeth and discomfort during speaking and chewing. Loss of teeth can also lead to loss of bone in the jaw.

People with severe anxiety clench or grind their teeth involuntarily leading to a disorder called Bruxism. This could cause damage to the teeth and the jaw. Patients with Bruxism often complain of teeth sensitivity, in severe cases, the crown could be chipped or cracked.

Patients with eating disorders like Bulimia often experience teeth sensitivity due to poor nutrition and enamel erosion caused by acidity in the vomit.

Some prescription drugs which are given for mental health patients can cause teeth problems, dry mouth, loss of bone density in the jaw, and bad breath.

Some people have a phobia to visit the Dentist’s office. They either tend to overdo all the dental hygiene practices which will be corrosive to teeth or neglect their teeth altogether which could be damaging. Dental technology has advanced and what we thought to be some of the most painful and difficult procedures are now performed effortlessly with local anesthesia. It is always important to visit the dentist regularly.

How can I protect my Dental health?

  • Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush using fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss regularly and use mouthwash.
  • Eat a calcium-rich nutritious diet and avoid food with added sugars.
  • Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco and limit alcohol consumption.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months.
  • Keep your toothbrushes in closed cabinets to avoid contamination.
  • Keep all your dentist’s appointments. Even if there are no noticeable symptoms, visit your dentist regularly.

Preventive dentistry is a medical practice that can help you keep your mouth healthy. The main causes of tooth loss are periodontitis and tooth decay. If you can prevent these, there is a high probability that you could keep your natural teeth for life. Take your oral health seriously.

To know more about preventive dentistry and to fix an appointment, Call us now at +91-080-25280669.

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