Your smile is one of the most valuable natural assets that you have. It is the first thing that people notice in you and hence is capable of making or breaking your first impression. But that is not the only reason why you need to take care of your oral health.

Oral health and overall health are interrelated with one another. It is a known fact that the mind and the body share a cyclical relationship. Any issue in the body can affect the mind and any problem with the mind reflects on the body.

Oral Health and its Connection to Mental Health

Research has revealed the relationship between oral health and physical health. The excessive amount of bacteria in the mouth can inflict adverse impacts on heart health if it is not treated in the right manner.

On the other hand, conditions like HIV/AIDS and diabetes have shown to make the condition of oral health worse as both contribute to the weakened immune system. As a result of that, scientists have now started to dig out the potential relationship between the brain and the mouth.  The proximity between them is quite close and hence there can be some worrisome possibilities existing between them.

It has been revealed through research that a major portion of the population above the age of 70 years is bound to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and the number is going to double by the year 2050.

It is because of all these that more research is required to analyze the cognitive and oral health relationship. Here an attempt is being made to bring forth the interdependent relationship between the mind and the overall health. Just read on.

  • Poor Dental Health Leading to Poor Mental Health – Your dental health can have a direct connection with mental health and can influence it.
  1. Patients who have mental illness are more than 2.5 times more prone to have lost all their teeth. This affects the self-esteem, physical appearance as well as the self-image of the person.
  2. Poor oral health can lead to speech defects that can give rise to social anxiety. In the same way, bad breath can worsen this social anxiety level even more.
  3. Similarly, the patients of the mental illness have higher statistical rates of missing teeth and tooth decay that can likewise affect the self-image, physical appearance and eventually the self-worth of the person.
  • Poor Mental Health Can Lead to Poor Dental Health – Through the research between the oral and mental health are relatively new, previous studies have already focused on the numerous ways in which mental health can affect the oral health. Some of them are enlisted below:
  1. Depression can lead to self-neglect which can result in poor oral hygiene and resultant tooth decay and erosion.
  2. Higher abuse of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco can lead to depression that can give rise to tooth decay and erosion.
  3. The bipolar patients treated with lithium have a higher rate of stomatitis and xerostomia
  4. In fact, overbrushing can be caused by a bipolar affective disorder that can damage the gums and lead to mucosal lacerations, dental abrasion or gingival lacerations.
  5. The intake of the mood stabilizer, antidepressant, and antipsychotic drugs can include a higher susceptibility to the infections caused by bacteria in the mouth.
  6. The acids from the vomiting make the patients with eating disorders more prone to tooth decay.

Tips to Take Care of Oral Health for People Who Have Mental Health Issues

  • Those with mental health issues should be made aware of their oral hygiene and should be given more access to their oral health.
  • Again, they should be motivated to inculcate good oral habits and practice them on a daily basis
  • In order to avoid mouth problems, proper lubrication should also be provided.
  • For such people, healthy eating is a must.
  • The dentists should be made aware of the oral health’s relation to the mental health and the patients must feel comfortable while receiving oral treatment.
  • The patients should be also educated about the adverse effects of drinking, smoking and drug for which they also have to spend more for various oral therapies like spending for the root canal treatment cost, teeth bleaching cost and so on.

Though it calls for further research, the above discourse points clearly to the fact that oral and mental health are inter-related and thus, medical practitioners should keep this in mind at the time of treating patients so that they do not suffer from lack of confidence and can have a better

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