Request Request Appointment Like Us Like us on Facebook Reviews Read Our Reviews Call Give us a Call Map View our Map

What Does Oral Health Have to Do with Dental Health?

December 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drjones @ 8:12 pm
Woman thinks something over

The human body is a complex system, and an illness in any part of it will affect the health of every other part. While oral health conditions like tooth decay and gum disease have long been associated with other health problems like diabetes, heart disease, pneumonia, and sepsis, many people may not realize that one’s mental health and dental health can affect one another as well. Here’s what mental health conditions like depression and anxiety mean for your smile and a few ways you can help keep your mouth and your mind in good shape.

How Can Depression Affect My Dental Health?

Three crucial parts of maintaining your oral health are practicing excellent oral hygiene at home, seeing your dentist regularly, and making smart eating decisions by avoiding foods and beverages that are heavy in things like sugars and acids. Unfortunately, depression can interfere with each of these aspects. The oppressive heavy feeling and apathy that come with depression can make it far too easy to skip practicing oral hygiene or scheduling a dentist’s appointment. Similarly, it can lead a patient to indulge too much in sugary snacks and beverages.

How Can Anxiety Affect My Dental Health?

Anxiety stresses people out, and this stress causes the brain to release a hormone called cortisol. When cortisol levels become excessive, the immune system weakens, leaving the patient more vulnerable to infections such as gum disease. If gum disease goes untreated, the constant effort of fighting the infection will exhaust the immune and endocrine systems, which may make the patient more vulnerable to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and dangerous secondary infections like sepsis and pneumonia.

How Can My Dental Health Affect My Mental Health?

A healthy smile can be a wonderful asset in the social scene and professional settings. Smiling frequently makes a person seem friendlier, more approachable, and more confident, making it easier for them to introduce themselves, win trust, build relationships, close sales, and maintain connections.

Unfortunately, many people are embarrassed about showing their smiles due to discoloration, missing teeth, visible decay, or other issues. This can be a massive detriment to their self-image, making them less outgoing and more likely to develop depression or social anxiety. Thankfully, dentists can help many patients achieve a more beautiful smile through cosmetic dental treatments.

Seeing your dentist regularly can protect both your dental and mental health. By staying on top of your oral hygiene, you can help yourself stay ahead of mental health conditions while keeping your smile in great shape.

About the Author

Dr. Adam Jones earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine at the University of Florida College of Dentistry and completed a residency program in prosthodontics. He is proud to be a member of the American College of Prosthodontics and the Academy of Osseointegration. His office in Vero Beach, FL offers general, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. For more information on the link between mental and oral health, contact his office online or dial (772) 234-5353.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.