How are Oral Health and Mental Health Connected?


Did you realise oral health and mental health are intimately connected? Many people are unaware of this link, and even scientists are not quite sure of the exact connection.

How are the Two Connected?

The relationship between oral health and mental health is cyclical. People with mental health problems are less likely to look after their physical and oral health. When oral and physical health is neglected, a person is less likely to eat nutritiously or to follow healthy habits.

Depression is often associated with tobacco and alcohol usage, increasing the risk of tooth decay and acid erosion. People who are depressed are less able to look after their oral hygiene and are at higher risk of developing dental disease.

Bipolar disorders negatively affect dental health. The medications used to treat bipolar can cause dry mouth or xerostomia, and stomatitis. People with bipolar can overbrush their teeth, damaging gums and abrading tooth enamel.

Poor dental hygiene can impact mental health in another way too. People who have lost their teeth or who have bad breath are more likely to suffer from social anxiety.