How Bad Teeth Affect More Than Just Your Smile: The Link between Dental and Mental Health

November 1st, 2017 by Bash Dental

There is a cyclical relationship between dental health and mental health. Dental wellness can improve mental and overall health, while poor oral health can aggravate mental issues and vice versa as mental conditions can lead to dental problems. Our emergency dentists serving North Wales, PA at Bash Dental would like to bring attention to this issue that a majority of people are unaware of: the link between oral health and mental health.

The issue, even within the medical and scientific community, isn’t completely understood in terms of severity, specifics and consistent trends. It is certain, however, that one’s mental health has a direct connection to their overall health.

Patients with mental health issues are more likely to neglect their physical health. Neglected physical health hinders both emotional and mental health. Moreover, poor physical health harms your self-image, self-esteem and self-worth – all of which harms mental wellness. Good dental health can enhance both your physical and mental state.

How Mental Health Affects Dental Health

  • Depression can result in the abuse of alcohol, caffeine and tobacco, which exacerbates tooth erosion and decay.
  • Depression also causes self-neglect, which can lead to poor oral hygiene.
  • Bipolar patients undergoing lithium treatment have a higher rate of stomatitis and xerostomia.
  • Acids from vomiting put patients with eating disorders at higher risk of tooth decay.
  • Side effects of antipsychotic, antidepressant and mood stabilizer drugs can make users more susceptible to oral bacterial infections.

How Dental Health Affects Mental Health

  • Poor dental health influences speech, which can cause or worsen social anxiety, as can bad breath.
  • Those with a mental illness are more likely to have their teeth decay or fallout, subsequently impairing their physical appearance, self-esteem and self-image.

While there is still much to learn about the link between oral health and mental health, the connection is certainly there. We at Bash Dental seek to educate ourselves as well as our patients regarding this matter. If you’re looking for dentists in the Chalfont, PA region, please contact us to schedule an appointment. Give us a call at (215) 789-4106! You’ll leave our office not just looking better, but also feeling better.

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