It’s commonly known that stress and worry may negatively influence your health.
However, studies have discovered an essential link between gum disease and various mental health issues, such as stress, sadness, discomfort, anxiety, and loneliness.
These factors can lead your body to create more cortisol, a hormone that can contribute to the advancement of periodontal disease at significant levels.
How has Mental Health Influenced Oral Health and Vice Versa?
1. Oral Hygiene Issues
When you are seriously depressed or nervous, taking care of yourself may become a low priority.
Feeling defeated, sad, and exhausted may make even the most basic daily chores challenging to do. Oral hygiene is one of the most affected areas.
You might be tempted to forego brushing and flossing twice a day instead. Poor home oral hygiene and lack of professional dental treatment can eventually lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other issues.
If you have overall anxiety, you may also have dental anxiety, limiting your ability to attend the dentist.
When your mental health is damaged, you may avoid or forget the necessity of visiting every six months to see your dentist for a check-up and cleaning.
2. Gum disease
Many reasons cause gum disease. A common cause of the condition is poor dental hygiene, such as not brushing or flossing regularly.
Plaque accumulates on the surface and gums of the teeth if they are not cleaned regularly. Plaque hardens into tartar, hurting the gums more and causing irritation and recession.
People who have severe mental illness are more prone to acquire gum disease for these reasons.
3. Dry mouth
Dry mouth is a fairly common condition that, if it persists, can harm a person’s overall quality of life.
Bacteria and plaque do not get wiped away when there is not enough saliva in the mouth, which raises the risk of cavities and gum disease.
In addition to ulcers in the mouth, dry mouth might increase the risk of infection. Dry mouth can be caused by depression, anxiety, or even a transient but extreme stress period.
Certain drugs used to treat mental illness might cause dry mouth in persons being treated for it. Changing drugs may be a possibility depending on the reason for dry mouth.
Some people find comfort by avoiding behaviours that aggravate dry mouth, such as smoking or drinking alcohol. Stress hormone levels might have an impact on saliva production.
4. Deficiencies in nutrition
Depressed or nervous people may lose their appetite and eat insufficient amounts of the proper meals or consume excessive amounts of the wrong sugary foods and beverages.
This unhealthy diet can lead to a slew of dental issues. An abundance of sweets, particularly when paired with a lack of oral health care, keeps teeth continually soaked in sugar, allowing tooth decay to develop and wreak havoc.
A lousy diet might also result in low calcium levels, which affect the health and strength of dental enamel.
5. Anxiety in Social Situations
Speech can be affected by poor oral health and teeth alignment difficulties, leading to social anxiety.
Similarly, persistent foul breath is frequently associated with dental hygiene concerns, causing emotions of poor self-worth and restricting social interactions.
And social connections are essential for physical as well as mental health. These relationships foster a sense of belonging and purpose, greater pleasure and stress reduction, and better self-esteem.
Take Care of Your Oral Health
If you’re coping with mental illness, there are a few things you can do to keep your mouth healthy:
- Brush and floss daily.
- Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and consume fluoridated water.
- Reduce or quit smoking and alcohol consumption.
- Cut back on sugary foods and drinks.
- Consume a well-balanced diet.
- Maintain a healthy activity and exercise routine.
- Visit your Fortitude Valley dentist regularly.
Oral Health Care at Precision Dental
Oral and mental health are inextricably linked. Make an appointment with your dentist regularly. Also, if you are concerned about your mental health, don’t put it off talking to your doctor.
You can also visit us at S13, HQ South Tower, 520 Wickham St in Fortitude Valley.