Are Dental Health and Mental Health Related?

Dental Health, Mental Health


Upkeep and maintaining dental health are key to your mental stability and peace of mind. Your mental and dental health continuously impact each other for both obvious and unclear reasons. Like all other aspects of our physical health, oral and mental health are inextricably connected. Your dental health is one of the primary indicators of any bodily abnormality. Likewise, when your mental health takes a nosedive, your dental health gets jeopardized.

Having intact gums and teeth is like having an unblocked nose — you only know the difference when the tables are turned. Scientific studies have concluded that there is a link between dental negligence and depression, with later climbs up to becoming periodontal diseases. One of the early ravages of mental illnesses is not skipping vital rituals like brushing your teeth or taking a bath. This ignored practice leads to an increment in cavities, gum diseases, downtrodden dental hygiene, and foul breath. Explore Dental Course- BDS

The relationship between oral health and mental health

Dentistry and mental health are connected in many ways. Dental issues can manifest in many ways, which leads to severe cases of dental anxiety. Dental anxiety is the crippling fear of visiting the dentist or getting treatment. From the perspective of broader mental health conditions, deteriorating mental health is one of the reasons why people overlook dental health.

Dental anxiety is a fairly common phenomenon. A 2015 study showed that over 55% of patients suffer from dental anxiety or phobia of dental care. Taking care of your teeth requires orderly check-ins with the dentist.

Also Read: Oral hygiene - An overview

How mental health impacts dental health

People with extremely poor mental health develop a tendency to reject self-care. They develop dangerous habits such as late-night snacking, sugar binges, fizzy drinks, and lack of brushing/flossing, which results in terrible tooth decay and cavities.

Poor mental health also results in poor nutrition and eating disorders such as low levels of magnesium and calcium in the body. Calcium deficiency can have a devastating impact on your teeth, such as enamel erosion and recurring gum bleeds.

5 Ways Poor Oral Dental Health Impacts Mental Health

Lack of Self-care

Poor oral health and depression are often caused by the same reasons. One of them can be poor mental health which spoils your schedule and robs you out of your crucial self-care rituals. Maintaining healthy gums can be a chore for people with mental issues. From flossing to everyday brushing and regular dental checkups - all of this is self-care, which a lot of people can't make time for.

Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety is specific anxiety which stems from avoiding expert care for your ailing teeth and gums. Visiting a doctor, getting yourself treated and getting early care are all crucial ways to minimise dental damage. People with poor self-confidence, past trauma, or unfavourable experience deter them from visiting a doctor.

Nutrition Deficiency

Prevalence of mental illnesses can wade you off your course towards a healthy and balanced diet every day, which later results in nutrition deficiency. A nutrition deficiency can quickly appear in your dental health. From tongue to mouth walls and gums, all parts of the mouth are susceptible to change at the whim of poor nutritional palate. Additionally, all antidepressants can cause a dry mouth spell in people. And a dry mouth dramatically increases your risk for gum disease.

Eating Disorder

People with poor mental health often have negative views about their physique. Some of these attitudes can manifest in the form of eating disorders such as bulimia. Bulimia is a condition in which a person feels prompted to vomit out the consumed food. Doing this can cause serious harm to the teeth, throat, windpipe, and mouth. Persistent bulimia also causes rapid evaporation of saliva in the mouth, which invites its own host of problems.

Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome is a popular phenomenon, prevalent mostly in people with poor nutrition and hygiene. The chronic burning sensation underneath the tongue and on the roof of the mouth is mostly due to deteriorating mental health and severe depression. The condition has taken a turn for worse if not treated with utmost care.

Also Read: Top 7 reasons claiming the importance of oral health

5 Ways to Balance Your Dental Health and Mental Health

Get into a routine

Mental health is inescapable and brings recurring blows of extreme lows. It is recommended to adopt a routine that is both easy and doable in the long run. Instead of stretching out your oral cleaning, keep it simple and quick in the morning and couple it with another task such as taking a bath or preparing your coffee.

Get a dentist buddy

Dental anxiety is real and prevalent among people. A good antidote to this condition is to get a friend/relative/colleague who goes to the clinic with you. Every six months, ring up your dentist buddy and keep each other accountable.

Focus on a single thing

Instead of complicating your dental routine with brushing, tongue cleaning, mouthwash, and flossing, stick to one single thing and switch it up occasionally. Take baby steps towards your oral care as you get your mental health in order.

Clean your mouth before you sleep

Fostering food remains, unhealthy junk, and sweet juices in your mouth for long hours is a terrible idea. Brushing your teeth before bed is way more important than brushing them in the morning. If you can’t brush them every day, at least make sure to give your teeth a whirl of water before you head to bed.

Take multivitamins

Poor mental health can lead to poor nutrition, which can exacerbate dental pain and gum bleeds. Take a combination of calcium and magnesium to keep up with your nutrition deficiency as you battle with your mental health.

In Conclusion,

Poor mental health can cause poor oral health and vice versa. These complex conditions do not have a single solution, but plenty of steps must be taken in unison. Dental course graduates from Mansarovar Dental College, Bhopal, understand this rather unexplored field and are armed with solutions that can help their patients. Until then, keep flossing!