If your friend or a dentist told you there was a link between your mental health and teeth, you would probably not believe them. While there is a good chance most people would be skeptical about this idea, oral and mental health are indeed interrelated. Scientific research has proved that even though the mind and body are separate entities, one affects the other.
A lot of people who are diagnosed with a mental health condition have a problem with their teeth or gums. However, poor oral health caused due to poor mental health is nothing to feel shame or guilt about. If you are struggling with these issues, it is recommended to seek therapy and schedule an appointment with a dentist in Fairfield, ME.
Understanding the link between oral and mental health
According to world-renowned psychologists, there is a pretty neat connection between a person’s oral and mental health. When a person suffers from an extreme condition, such as depression or anxiety, they may not be able to take care of themselves like a mentally healthy person can. A person’s poor mental health may affect how they care for their body, including their gums and teeth.
A person’s oral health can be an indication of their mental health and vice versa. A study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry showed documented research findings that indicated that people with severe mental illnesses have 2.7 times the chance of losing teeth.
Ways your mental health can impact your oral health.
- People with mental illnesses find it difficult to stick to a certain routine. They experience fluctuating energy levels and mood disorders, making it hard for them to stay motivated.
- Many people with serious mental illnesses suffer from alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine abuse– items that are infamous for causing tooth decay.
- Mental health patients may suffer from extreme levels of stress. Physical symptoms of stress can vary from person to person. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding are symptoms of stress that cause tooth damage.
- It is common to have fears about the dentist. However, some people have extreme dental phobia associated with other conditions like depression. This can prevent them from going to the dentist even when it is absolutely necessary.
Dental phobia can range from avoiding the dentist to having full-blown panic attacks on the dentist’s chair. Due to dental phobia, minor illnesses go unchecked and manifest into bigger issues over time. Talk to your dentist in Fairfield today if you suffer from dental anxiety.