At first glance, the connection between oral and mental health is not very evident. After all, how in the world does taking care of your teeth affect your mental capabilities in any way, or vice versa?
But the truth is, our bodies and all its systems that keep us hale and hearty are interconnected. Any disturbances in your body’s natural order will not only affect the specific area it takes place in, but also other parts of your body.
A case in point is the connection between periodontal diseases and cardiovascular problems.
So it isn’t a far-fetched idea that your mental health affects your dental health, as well as the other way round.
Going into Detail
Let’s talk about the basic effects of poor dental health on your mental health first.
Starting with neglecting dental health, a lack of hygiene not only affects yourself worth, but it also impacts your self confidence. You might feel insecure and depressed because you may not be able to communicate properly without worrying about other people judging you.
You may also not be able to eat well, which will lead to deficiencies. You’ll start feeling weak, malnourished and lazy, and that, in turn, will directly impact your brain functions. You’ll become susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and memory loss.
In addition, any infection or oral disease you develop can travel through your gums into your bloodstream, reaching your brain and causing inflammation and neuron damage.
The Flip Side
Now considering how mental health affects your oral health; the answer lies in the medication you use.
Plenty of medications that are used to treat mental illnesses cause dry mouth as a side effect. Dry mouth, of course, can lead to an accumulation of plaque and bacteria in your mouth, which leads to infection.
In addition, some specific mental illnesses may also cause people to neglect their oral hygiene or fixate on it too much. Patients suffering from schizophrenia and depression might not be motivated to take basic care of themselves.
Someone who has OCD may put too much effort toward their dental health. Overdoing flossing, brushing and mouth washing can lead to eroded teeth and damaged gums.
Also, if a patient suffers from a substance abuse problem or an eating disorder, the acidity from what they consume (or produce, in the case of Bulimia) would also erode their teeth.
And thus, the vicious cycle will continue.
Taking Proper Dental Care
For the sake of your health, it’s important that you go to a reliable dentist for your problems.
Advanced Dental Center in Germantown, Maryland is a leading family dentistry practice. We offer our insight and medical expertise so you can give your body the care it needs.
If you believe that you may be suffering from a dental issue, contact us. We’ll recommend the best next step toward better overall health care!