The connection between dental health and mental well-being
Although this blog post isn’t directly related to decluttering & organising, I like to throw in the odd one about health, mental health and some basic needs that some of us forget about. Dental health is one of those fundamental bits of self care. If we’re busy, it’s easy to neglect our teeth.Kate – A Tidy Mind
Poor dental health can lead to more than just teeth cavities and gum disease. Neglecting your oral hygiene can also have a significant effect on your well-being and has been linked to a number of mental health issues, including anxiety, low self-image, and depression. Studies have also found that people with mental health issues are far more likely to have poor dental health.
Poor dental health = poor mental health
Poor dental hygiene has been linked to poor mental health in several ways. For example:
- Gum disease can lead to tooth loss, which affects people’s appearance, self-confidence, and self-image.
- Bad oral hygiene can cause speech impairments and embarrassing issues like bad breath. This can lead to severe social anxiety and low self-esteem.
Poor mental health = poor dental health
Likewise, research has shown that people suffering from mental health disorders are far more likely to neglect their oral hygiene and be more at risk of oral health disease. This can be due to a number of reasons, such as:
- People suffering from eating disorders may induce vomiting, causing acid damage to their teeth. This can lead to cavities, dental erosion, and tooth loss over time.
- People with mental health disorders are generally more likely to use substances like alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. These can all lead to tooth decay and dental issues.
- People with mental disorders like OCD may brush excessively, causing damage to their gums and teeth.
Tips for maintaining good dental habits
Maintaining good dental habits is important to both your physical and mental health. To keep your oral hygiene in top condition, make sure that you brush your teeth twice daily – once in the morning and once in the evening before bed. You should also floss regularly and use mouthwash to help remove any remaining plaque and bacteria.
There are also many specialist dental products available on the market that have been designed to further improve your dental health and appearance of your smile. This includes things like electric toothbrushes, tongue scrapers, and teeth whitening kits. Remember that you should also be attending a check-up appointment with your dentist every six months. The dentist will give your teeth a deep clean and check for any issues. Should you experience any pain or dental problems between appointments, then you should contact your dentist office straight away to get advice.
If you suffer from mental health issues, then it’s important that you understand the value of dental health and stay motivated to maintain good oral health habits. It is common for people to neglect their routine visits to the dentist due to dental phobia. If you suffer from this disorder, then contact your dentist office to make them aware of your concerns. Most dentists are used to dealing with people who are extremely anxious, so they have procedures in place to help you feel more calm and relaxed.
Remember that putting off a dentist visit is likely to end in serious problems developing that will require more extensive treatment. Therefore, it is always best to get regular check-ups and seek advice from the dentist as soon as you notice any issues with your dental health.