It might surprise you to find out that the mind and body share proven connections that link oral health to mental health. In fact, people diagnosed with a mental health condition are actually more likely to have issues with the health of their teeth and gums. There are many different ways that your health and wellness can affect your oral health and vice versa. Before you learn about the connections between your oral health and low mood, it’s important to note that poor oral hygiene and mental health aren’t failures, and nobody should feel guilty or shameful. Here, our Gainesville dentist discusses the surprising connection between mental health and oral health and offers tips for improving the health of your teeth and gums. Contact Comprehensive Dental Care today for high-quality dental services and a healthy, beautiful smile.

Stress & Grinding Your Teeth

As with other types of relationships, the connection between oral health and mental health means that one intrinsically affects the other. A patient’s mental health can affect their ability or willingness to achieve and maintain an adequate dental hygiene routine. Alternatively, poor oral health can have significant negative consequences on the person’s self-esteem and, over time, their mental health. Stress is among the most common issues our Gainesville dental clinic patients face. For some individuals, stress manifests physically, such as jaw clenching and teeth grinding or bruxism. Over a long period of time, teeth grinding and jaw clenching can cause tooth instability, tooth loss, gum problems, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

Putting Off Dental Services

Dental anxiety and fears related to dental care can have significant negative impacts on oral health. It’s estimated that about 50% of all dental patients experience some degree of dental anxiety about visiting their local dentist. While it’s normal to experience some degree of anxiety about dental appointments, people with certain mental health conditions, such as social anxiety disorder or generalized anxiety, may feel a heightened degree of fear when visiting their dentist. This can reduce the likelihood that the person will seek care, even if their need for dental care is urgent, whether due to a broken tooth, infection, or another cause. Fewer visits to our

Gainesville dentist office means an increased probability of dental problems and reduced chances to correct any problems that arise.

How Medications & Nutrition Affect Oral Health

Another way in which one’s mental health can affect one’s oral health involves the role of nutrition and the impact of medications on one’s oral health. Certain medications commonly prescribed for treating mental health conditions and mood disorders, such as low mood, can have side effects that affect oral health. A common side effect of these medications is dry mouth, which can increase the risk of tooth decay and dental cavities. To help combat the effects of these medications, speak with your dentist about solutions to combat the effects of medication on your oral health. Similarly, what you eat can affect both your well-being and oral health. Nutrient-rich diets support a positive mood and contribute to high oral health.

Get The Support You Need From Our Gainesville Dentist

Understanding the complex relationship between mental health, low mood, and oral health is critical for maintaining a happy smile, high oral health, and greater wellness. Maintaining open communication channels with your healthcare providers is important for ensuring your concerns are addressed for optimal care and great results. At Comprehensive Dental Care, our

dental practice is centered around the needs of our patients, offering them the highest quality dental care and services possible. Contact us today to prioritize your oral health and discover an affordable dental plan for your unique smile!