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The Connection Between Dental Health and Mental Health

3d white psychologist with a patient. 3d image. Isolated white background.A recent study found that a person’s mental health is connected to their oral health. The researchers followed 500 people over 30 years and discovered that if a person is suffering from depression, feelings of helplessness, or other mental health symptoms they are 20% more likely to suffer from gum disease.

Mental health affects our oral health in several ways. First, symptoms of depression lead to a lack of motivation for personal care and hygiene. Second, depression inhibits the body’s ability to fight off inflammation. Third, a mental health condition may lead to avoidance of visiting the dentist.

Understanding can lead to action

The rates of depression and anxiety are relatively high and occur across cultures, ages, and genders.

Understanding how mental health affects our dental health is important for professionals working in the field of therapy and counseling. If clients are suffering from depression and/or anxiety, they should be made aware of the effects that can occur with their oral health. 

Other mental health challenges can also dental health.  Those suffering from phobias often refuse to visit the dentist. If an individual is already highly anxious, he or she may have a greater likelihood of developing a phobia of the dentist.  Fears of dentist’s and doctors may be exacerbated in the presence of stressful life events or period of heightened anxiety or depression.

Increasing awareness through education of professionals and the general public is an effective approach that can be utilized to improve the overall health of those suffering from depression or other mental health challenges.

If you would like to learn more, you are welcome to call and book an appointment or fill out our contact form and click Send.