How Does Your Mental Health Impact Your Dental Health?

Rohan Mathew


It may seem odd to compare dental and mental health since they are two significantly different components of an individual’s body. However, several body parts have relationships to mental health, and your teeth are one of them.

If you suffer from teeth pain, the first thought in your mind might be the cavity you need checking or the root canal you were supposed to do. Your mental health may be the last thing you think about as the cause of the problem. According to a study No Mental Health without Oral Health, people with several mental illnesses have 2.7 times more likelihood of losing all their teeth than others. Here are some ways mental health affects your dental health and ways you can help yourself.

Lack of Motivation to Visit the Dentist

Among other activities that may seem like a daunting task if you’re feeling blue, the lack of motivation to visit a dentist may be one of them. The first step in this process is to identify your problems and push yourself to strive for the best, which can only happen if you accept your troubles. Find a dentist in Hamilton Ontario and pick up your phone to make an appointment.

If you are not ready to visit the dentist the same week you encounter a dental problem, that is okay. But, taking the necessary steps to recognize and attempt to solve the problem is a significant deal. You could even try to ask a friend or family member to accompany you to the dentist. 

Difficulty Performing Hygiene Tasks

Performing basic hygiene tasks such as brushing or flossing to maintain oral health can be challenging if you suffer from mental illnesses, such as depression. It can seem like a struggle to brush your teeth, which is a normal reaction. 

Self-care tasks may be the least on one’s worries when one is suffering from more significant problems. However, if your mental illness affects your oral health, it may be beneficial to take baby steps. If you brush once a week, increase that to two times, then gradually move to more frequently brushing habits. If this step seems too overwhelming, consider getting professional help. Less focus on oral health care is a common symptom of mental illness, and there is no harm in reaching out for help.

Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

Everyone has their way of coping with things. Some people begin to self-medicate by consuming large amounts of sugary food or drinks, increasing alcohol intake, or smoking regularly. These are common coping mechanisms that some people adapt to deal with mental illnesses. Most of the time, you may not even be aware that you are self-medicating. But, most of these consumptions can impact your oral health negatively. 

If you find yourself consuming any product more than usual, try to take a little break to see if you can stop if you want to. If you become addicted to self-medicating, it may worsen your mental and dental health and trigger new problems. Try to see if you can find healthier alternative coping mechanisms such as exercise, meditation, or support from others.

Your dental and mental health both play vital roles in keeping you healthy. Don’t overlook any underlying issues, and try to reach out for professional help whenever you find it appropriate.