Health & Fitness

How Oral Health Impacts Mental Health

Oral Health Impacts Mental Health

An enhanced amount of research has brought to light the fact that there is a relationship between dental and mental health. Be it the connection between a missing tooth and social anxiety or the chronic bad breath and loss of confidence, there is always a connection observed between oral and mental health.

Health of one part of the body is bound to affect the health of any other part of the body. And oral health and mental health are closely interlinked in this case.

Have a look at how oral health has an effect on mental health.

  • Smiling Boosts Your Mood – Just flashing a beautiful smile is great for the mental health. Studies have revealed that the feel-good hormones or neurotransmitters like endorphins, dopamine and serotonin are released every time that you smile. It can lower the blood pressure and heart rate as well as reduce the stress level. Moreover, it is also contagious. Research has brought forth the fact that the reward centers of the brain are activated every time you smile at someone and mostly causes them to smile back.

  • Improper Chewing Can Deteriorate Mental Health– An enhanced amount of research has also linked mental wellness to the flora found in the guts. The digestion begins in the mouth and the ability of the body to break down and digest the nutrients is impacted by the ability to properly chew.

  • Gum Ailment and Missing Tooth Can Lead to Dementia – The older people with gum ailment, missing teeth and multiple cavities may be at a higher risk experiencing dementia or mental illness. Added to it, the researchers believe that the bacteria from the gum ailment can create chronic inflammation that can lead to heart problems.

  • Distorted Teeth Alignment Can Lead to Social Anxiety – The poor dental health and tooth alignment issues can affect the speech and lead to social anxiety. Similarly, the chronic bad breath is often related to the hygiene issues limiting the social connections and leading to low self-worth. The social connections are essential for both mental and physical health. The connections create a sense of purpose and belonging, provide a reduction of stress and enhanced levels of happiness. Along with all these, there is also enhanced self-esteem. Many of the patients have spent a lifetime feeling self-conscious about their smile. It can affect job interviews, affect social opportunities and enhance the feelings of isolation.

Challenges for People with Chronic Mental Health

The struggle is even more intense for those patients who are facing serious mental health challenges. They often struggle to stick to oral care. Moreover, a lifetime of psychiatric ailments and possible addiction can take a toll on the dental health leading to chronic and serious issues. For those people with psychiatric disorders, it is quite difficult for the dentists to treat the complicated issues found in their mouth. Significant tooth decay or the loss of teeth can affect the self-image or the appearance limiting the job opportunities and the potential to rebuild a life after an intense period of psychiatric illness.

Simple Ways to Maintain Good Oral Health

The oral experts remind people of all ages to take care of their oral health by brushing and flossing regularly in order to remove the bacteria-filled plaque and the food particles from the tooth surface. The flossing helps to loosen the plaque and the food caught in between the teeth and along the gum line. Here are certain information that you should keep in mind and certain tips that you can abide by –

  • The plaque can form on the teeth within 12 hours and if not removed turns into tartar within 24 hours.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice every day for two to three minutes every time at bedtime and after breakfast.

  • Floss at least once daily at any time of the day to avoid the development of the tartar, plaque and gum ailment as the harmful bacteria can collect on the teeth leading to the gum disease.

  • The floss string is more effective in covering all tooth surfaces than the other flossing tools.

  • Tartar build-up is very hard just like cement and calls for professional cleaning to be removed.

  • Schedule your appointment with a reputed dentist at your nearest dental hospital for regular oral check-ups so that you can maintain a great oral health year after year.

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