Mental health and oral hygiene

Mental health and oral hygiene: It is safe to say that everybody mental health has taken a bashing over the last 9 months. With Covid-19. one way or the other at some point it has affected our wellbeing. 

Fortunately, there has been an increase in awareness in society around mental health. The issues are finally being given the serious attention that they deserve. Too many people suffer from this, in varying degrees. There can be many causes of it, both medical and societal, and often the causes have no easy answers.

We would like to help just a little to tackle the stigma associated with mental health, encouraging people to seek help, without fear, judgement or embarrassment.

Mental health issues are prevalent in England. At any given time, 1 in 6 working-age adults have symptoms associated with mental ill health. Over the last month this has increased 69% due to the current pandemic.

There is and always has been a close connection between the health of the body and that of the mind. There is evidence to suggest those who experience mental illness also suffer with poor oral health.

But why?

We would certainly not make the claim that having healthy and great looking teeth will solve mental health issues. However we do believe that they can make us feel better about ourselves. Often helping us to gain more confidence. These factors alone can lead to a happier and more fulfilling life.

Some of the most common mental illnesses that can have a negative impact on a person’s oral health include: Anxiety, panic attacks, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, self-harm, schizophrenia and psychosis.

Some of the main issues for those suffering with mental illness include:

  • Neglect: Research has shown that suffering from mental illnesses tend to avoid dental care so much that oral hygiene is neglected. This can result in gum disease and tooth decay.gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Anxiety: Many people suffer from some form of dental phobia. dental phobia. As a result, stop seeing their dentist regularly. Infrequent dental visits have a severe impact on oral health.
  • Eating disorders: Conditions such as Bulimia often cause dental erosion from the acidity in vomit. Low levels of calcium are also common, which could affect the health of the teeth.
  • Brushing actions: Over-vigorous brushing actions with bipolar and similar disorders could result in brushing away the enamel on the surface of the tooth.
  • Medication: Taking medication may produce adverse oral effects, especially dry mouth, which is as a result of reduced salvia flow.

It is important also for carers to be aware of the link between oral health and mental health. Those people suffering with mental health issues should understand value of good oral health and be motivated to maintain good dental habits.

We understand that this year has and still is a hard and difficult time for everyone. We are here to support you and your dental care needs. Over this Christmas try and connect to those you love via other methods to boost your mental health. Make a New Years resolution to visit us and get your oral wellbeing in tip top condition. We wish you a happy, healthy Christmas and New year. Let’s all hope that 2021 brings better news for us all.

 

If you are having any issues with the topics discussed in this blog please contact someone.

  • If you would like to discuss your teeth please contact us at: Warwick Lodge Dental and Implant Centre, 44 Canterbury Road, Herne Bay. CT65DF. (01227) 375592
  • MIND is a mental health charity with a good support line: you can find more information at  www.mind.org.uk/  0208 215 2243 or 0300 123 3393,  Email info@mind.org.uk.
  • The Samaritans: www.samaritans.org and You can call them on 116123