Your oral health can impact the rest of your physical health. But did you know that oral health and mental health have a connection as well? Dr. Mark Sowell, a dentist in Plano, TX, believes in treating your oral health for the benefit of your overall health. Read on to learn more about how your oral health and mental health are connected.
Mental Health Causing Oral Problems
Stress, depression, and anxiety are all mood disorders that can have an impact on your oral health. When you’re stressed or depressed, your oral health isn’t often at the front of your mind. It’s easy to neglect oral healthcare when you’re overwhelmed with stress or feelings of sadness.
But this neglect takes a toll on your mouth. Brushing irregularly and skipping visits to your dentist can cause a buildup of plaque and lead to tooth decay or gum disease. Depression can also make you more likely to eat an unhealthy diet or self-medicate with things like tobacco or alcohol. These things can make your oral health worse.
When you’re stressed, your body produces more cortisol. This impacts your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to infections, meaning you’re at a higher risk for gum disease.
If you’re on medication for your anxiety or depression, one of the most common side effects is dry mouth. Saliva is crucial for washing away bacteria and food particles from your smile. With less saliva, it’s more likely that particles will stay and cause tooth decay.
Anxiety and some medications can have a side effect called bruxism. This is clenching and grinding your teeth. You may not even notice you’re doing it, but you’ll experience pain throughout the jaw and face and may see wear and tear on your teeth. It can lead to a painful condition called TMJ that impacts the joint where your jaw meets your skull.
Oral Problems Contributing To Mental Health Issues
Patients that have mental health conditions are much more likely to suffer from tooth decay and other oral health problems. This includes being more likely to have lost all of their teeth. Dental issues like these can impact your self-esteem and the image you have of yourself. It can be hard to be confident with issues like this.
Dental health problems can also impact your speech. Social anxiety can be a problem if you’re worried about speaking with a lisp or something else. Chronic bad breath is a symptom of gum disease. Again, this can exacerbate social anxiety. You should be confident speaking and showing off your smile, not trying to hide it.
Keep Up Oral Health At Your Plano, Texas Dentist
Even with mental conditions, it’s important to keep up with your oral health. You want to make sure you can feel secure and confident in both areas. We can help. Call us today to set up an appointment or request an appointment online!