How Dental Hygiene and Mental Health are intertwined
June 7, 2023
How Dental Hygiene and Mental Health are Intertwined
When you think of dental hygiene, it’s likely that the first thing that comes to mind is simply brushing and flossing your teeth. But did you know that dental hygiene has a much deeper impact on your health than just your teeth? Studies show that there is a strong correlation between dental hygiene and mental health. In fact, poor dental hygiene has been associated with a range of mental health problems. Let’s dive in and explore the connection between dental hygiene and mental health.
Bad dental hygiene can lead to a range of mental health issues. It’s been found that inflammation caused by gum disease can lead to depression and other mental health problems. This is because the inflammation in the gums is believed to cause the release of a hormone called cortisol, which is linked to depression and anxiety. Furthermore, bad breath and tooth decay can cause social anxiety, resulting in a lowered self-esteem and confidence. This is especially true for teenagers, who can feel embarrassed about their oral hygiene. This can lead to anxiety and depression, as well as avoidance of social situations.
On the flip side, mental health problems can also lead to poor dental hygiene. People who suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders often struggle to take care of their oral health properly. This can be due to a lack of motivation, low energy levels or feelings of hopelessness. These feelings can cause a person to neglect their dental hygiene, leading to more serious dental problems.
It’s important to note that the connection between dental hygiene and mental health is a two-way street. Good dental hygiene practices can actually improve mental health as well. When you feel good about your oral hygiene, it can boost your self-esteem and self-confidence. This increase in confidence can lead to less social anxiety and ultimately improve your mental health.
It’s also important to note that taking care of your dental hygiene can be a form of self-care. When you take the necessary steps to properly care for your teeth, you are doing something good for yourself. This act of self-care can have a positive impact on your mental health, as it shows that you value yourself and your health.
Good Dental Hygiene can never start too young. Bringing children to the dentist and familiarizing them and normalizing them with the environment in a dental clinic at a young age will help lessen the anxieties around dentistry when they are older and will in turn help them develop good oral hygiene.
Taking care of your dental hygiene and mental health is intertwined, and it's important to take both into consideration when taking care of yourself. By making a conscious effort to take care of your oral health, you can improve your mental health as well. Conversely, neglecting your dental hygiene can lead to a range of mental health problems. So, the next time you brush and floss, remember that you are doing something good for both your teeth and your mind.
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