Published on February 9, 2023

Is Your Oral Health Impacting Your Mental Health?

by Psych Times Staff

Having good oral health and visiting a dentist regularly can improve your mental health, according to studies. Researchers have found a link between tooth loss, tooth decay, and mental health problems. Dental health issues can occur in people for a number of reasons, including not being able to afford checkups, being afraid to visit the dentist, and thinking that their dental health is fine. But with a strong correlation between oral health and mental health, can you afford not to prioritize your teeth?

Stop social isolation

Smiling is a great way to connect with people. 68% of Americans say that they find smiley people trustworthy, confident, and approachable. If you have dental issues, such as tooth loss, crowding, staining, or chipping, you’re less likely to want to smile at people. Studies have found that people with poor oral health have higher rates of social isolation and loneliness. Social isolation comes with its own problems, including depression, sleep problems, stress, and anxiety. If you avoid smiling at people and socializing because of your teeth, get booked in with a dentist and have your issues resolved as this could benefit your mental health and well-being.

Prevent problems

It’s recommended that most people should visit the dentist at least once per year. However, 36% of Americans confess to not doing this. 36% of people say they have a fear of the dentist and a further 12% have an extreme fear. Annual check-ups are important as they can prevent a minor issue from turning into a big one, so it’s essential that you find ways to combat your fears. Relaxation techniques work well. Finding the right dentist for you will help, too. There are dentists in cities across the US, including Portland, Charlotte, and Long Island. Make sure your dentist has professional affiliations and a background in dealing with a variety of dental procedures. This way you can be sure that they’ll put you at ease during your examination. You’ll also be able to trust them to spot and treat dental issues before they worsen.

Boost your self-esteem

9 in 10 people have teeth that are misaligned, according to Scientific American. This misalignment can range from minor to severe and can be treated with teeth straightening treatment. 70% of people say that this treatment option would benefit their self-esteem. Misaligned teeth put you at increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. You’re also more likely to get a gum infection as it’s trickier to thoroughly brush teeth that aren’t straight. This can lead to bad breath, which is sure to affect your confidence and self-esteem. Teeth straightening can take anywhere from months to years, but it’s worth the investment to keep your mood up.

The impact oral health can have on mental health is rarely discussed. But it’s an important issue that should be carefully thought about. Dental issues are easily rectified, so make sure you attend your dental appointments for the sake of your mental health.

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