What is the Connection Between Your Mental Health and Your Dental Health? The human body is an intricately connected system; it truly is, and the correlation between various aspects of our well-being often transcends individual domains. Chances are probably high that you knew that your physical health and your mental health were connected, right? Usually, if you feel bad one way, you’ll usually feel bad in another way, too. For example, if you’re feeling sick, you’re usually not going to be in a good mood either.
While the word “physical health” is super vague since it’s the entire body, it helps to break it down, like hearing health, abdominal health, fitness, and so on. But one of them that you absolutely need to pay close attention to is dental health. Your dental health is closely connected to other forms of physical health, such as your head, your throat, ears, etc.
But if you think about it, it technically has a connection with your overall mental well-being, too. If you’re delaying the treatment of your teeth, then you are basically hurting yourself. So, with that said, here’s the exact connection between the two. So, with that said, here’s the relationship between the two.
There’s the Mind-Body Connection Aspect
So, one thing you really need to keep in mind is the fact that the mind and body are not isolated entities but rather integral components of our overall health. It was briefly mentioned above, but one part of the body can technically impact the other, and anything involving general physical health can bleed over into mental health, too. Research has increasingly highlighted the bidirectional relationship between mental health and physical well-being, and oral health is no exception.
Think of it this way: if you’re insecure, especially about your smile, you’re going to struggle with wanting to smile. If you’re insecure or ashamed, you’re going to have low self-worth (usually), which, of course, means low mental health, too. There are ways to help get that confidence back, which almost always skyrockets in mental health. This could be teeth whitening, dental implants, the area around the mouth (such as lips), teeth straightening, and the list can keep continuing.
Oral Health Can Be a Refection of Your Mental State
If you really think about it, our mouths can serve as mirrors reflecting our mental health. Certain aspects like stress, anxiety, and depression can manifest in various ways, impacting our oral hygiene habits. If you’re depressed, you might not have the mental strength to carry out basically grooming and oral hygiene. Some other examples can include neglecting regular dental check-ups to develop issues; these habits can have profound effects on our oral health.
To a degree, this piggybacks on what was said above, but in a bit more detail. So, you need to keep in mind that stress, a common factor in many mental health issues, can wreak havoc on your oral health. Usually, when something is stressed, without thinking about it, they’ll grind their teeth, do some jaw clenching, and neglect dental care (including emotional eating). These are often stress-induced behaviors that can lead to issues like temporomandibular joint disorders, cavities, and gum disease.
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