The Link Between Dental And Mental Health

 In Blog, Emergency Dental Care, Family Dentist, General Dentistry, Gum Disease
Having the perfect smile always has a positive effect on one’s self-confidence and attitude in general. Thus, it is safe to say that good dental health and emotional well-being have a valuable connection. In addition, various studies show that there is a link between dental and mental health.

According to research conducted by the International & American Associations for Dental Research among adult populations, there is an association between tooth loss and diminished cognitive function. The goal of the study was to scientifically examine if tooth loss leads to cognitive impairment and its most predominant pathologic condition: dementia. Based on the results, they found out that the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, especially among adults and senior citizens, does increase with the loss of teeth.

Oral Health and Other Mental Ailments

Consequentially, mental health issues can also have negative effects on a person’s oral health. Various studies show that people suffering from mental illness also grapple with certain dental issues such as tooth decay, dental caries, periodontal disease, and dry mouth, etc. In addition, some research also suggests that people with serious mental sicknesses are three times more likely to get their teeth removed.

Other findings regarding the link between oral health and psychiatric disorders include:

Eating disorders. Bulimia can cause enamel erosion while anorexia is typically linked to a reduction in calcium levels, leading to poor teeth health.

Bipolar, obsessive and compulsive disorder (OCD), and other related disorders. People affected by such psychological conditions tend to brush too vigorously, which can damage their tooth enamel.

Schizophrenia. Studies show that patients with schizophrenia and other associated mental health issues tend to have poor oral hygiene and, as such, are more at risk of developing various dental problems.

Based on different studies, there exists a real link between oral health and mental health. Neglecting either of them can negatively affect the other and cause more health issues. As such, it is crucial to start making small lifestyle changes in order to have good oral health now.

This means practicing good oral hygiene habits, having a well-balanced diet, and avoiding unhealthy vices such as smoking and drinking too much alcohol. Regular visits to the dentist are also essential regardless of your age and mental condition. Keep in mind that if you want to maintain good oral health and see an improvement in mental health, it is never too early to start making changes.

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