How does your oral health affect your mental health?

mental health

Visiting your dentist twice yearly for a general check-up is crucial to maintaining good oral health. You may not realize that your oral health can significantly impact your mental health. Therefore, a dental check-up can also be an opportunity to improve your overall well-being. Please continue reading to learn the link between dental health and mental health. In addition, please schedule an appointment with our adept general dentistry/dentists located in Basking Ridge & Morristown, NJ, who can help you practice good oral hygiene that can help improve your mental health. 

What to know about oral health and mental health?

It can be challenging for individuals struggling with depression or anxiety to experience difficulty in performing even the most basic daily tasks, such as maintaining their dental hygiene. Mental illness can result in behaviors that can hurt oral health. For instance, certain disorders can lead to coping mechanisms like smoking, which can negatively impact your oral health. Furthermore, individuals diagnosed with mental health illnesses, including eating disorders, may be at a higher risk for some dental issues. Understanding the link between mental and oral health is crucial to ensure you are taking the necessary steps to maintain good oral health.

How can I manage my mental health and dental health?

As mentioned above, mental and dental health are interconnected. Therefore, the things you do to manage one will also benefit the other. Eating a healthy diet will boost your mood and provide the energy you need, but consuming nutritious foods will help protect your teeth and gums. In addition, you can manage your oral health by looking out for any signs and symptoms you might have. Your gums may bleed while brushing your teeth or flossing.

In some cases, your jaw might ache, or you may experience sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. If you’re taking antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or mood stabilizers, a common side effect is dry mouth. This condition will reduce the saliva in your mouth. Salvia is crucial as it helps you digest food and kills harmful germs that can lead to tooth and gum problems.

If you have high levels of stress and anxiety, you may notice worn enamel. You may even grind your teeth at night, leading to jaw aches. If so, you should practice stress reduction activities such as meditation exercises. Finally, you should regularly see your dentist as they can help identify oral issues that may correlate with mental health disorders.

If you suspect that your mental health is affecting your oral health, it’s time to contact the skilled team of dentists at the Dental Associates of Basking Ridge. We are prepared to help you maintain a healthy smile.

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