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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Dental Health to Mental Health

Can a tooth infection cause depression? Is there really a connection between dental hygiene and mental health? There is. Positive oral health can enhance mental and overall health, while poor oral health can exacerbate mental issues. And, certain mental conditions can also cause oral health issues.
The relationship between overall health and mental health is a continuous one. Essentially, evidence in a study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry demonstrates that patients with mental health issues are less likely to take proper care of their physical health. Alternately, those with impaired physical health may neglect their emotional and mental health. In both scenarios, the body can become deprived of the nutrition, activity and healthy habits needed to promote positive physical and mental health. In turn, an individual’s self-image, self-esteem and self-worth are also affected.

Research suggests ways that mental illnesses can lead to poor dental health:
  • Depression is associated with higher abuse of alcohol, caffeine and tobacco, which    may cause tooth erosion and decay.
  • Depression can cause self-neglect, which often results in poor oral hygiene, gum disease and consequential tooth decay.
  • Bipolar affective disorder often causes over-brushing that may damage gums and cause dental abrasion.
  • Bipolar patients treated with lithium have a higher rate of dry mouth.
  • Acids from vomiting make patients with eating disorders more susceptible to tooth decay.
  • Side effects of antipsychotic, antidepressant and mood stabilizer drugs may include a higher susceptibility to oral bacterial infections.
How poor dental health can lead to mental health issues:
  • Poor dental health affects speech, which can cause significant social anxiety. Likewise, bad breath can increase social anxiety.
  • Patients with mental illness are 2.8 times more likely to have lost all their teeth, affecting physical appearance, self-esteem and self-image.
  • Similarly, patients with mental illness have higher statistical rates of tooth decay and missing teeth, which impacts physical appearance and self-image.
While more and more news has uncovered how the coronavirus has impacted the mental health of Americans, increasing stress, anxiety and pre-existing mental health conditions.

E Dental Solutions is located at 2504 E. River Rd., in Tucson. Connect at 520-745-5496 or See ad, back cover.

E Dental Solutions  Medicine Wheel Dental - 2504 E River Rd Tucson AZ

E Dental Solutions & Medicine Wheel Dental - 2504 E River Rd, Tucson, AZ

Elahe Wissinger, DMD & Steven Swidler, DDS Dentistry: Our mission is to build a partnership to achieve optimal dental health. The state-of-the-art technology, attention to our clie... Read More »