The connection between your oral health and your mental illness
Depression a name that always sprouts as a demon in your mind can devastate your life into pieces. Depression is a common mental health which has affected larger masses worldwide. As per the reports WHO more than 280 million people are dreadfully suffering from depression. If you see someone suffering from depression, they might easily overlook their oral health.
Yet, maintaining oral hygiene opens the way to sustaining mental health. For that, you need to know how your oral health and your mental illness are connected to each other.
The reconciliation of oral health and your mental illness is the emanation of wholesome health:
Brushing and losing your teeth can be a challenging task even when the times are good. When you fall down into the pothole of depression, you would become less keen on visiting your dentist or would even ignore your oral health.
Well, the connection between depression and your oral health doesn’t bond their hands over here. Research shows that mouth ulcers have a genetic link between depressive symptoms and your mouth. While this research might also provide some insight which has the deep link in between your mental health and your oral health.
Though oral health and mental health is a different things but both of them are a connection to each other. Studies also show that there is a connection between depression and decreased salivary flow. This is a condition that can increase cavity-causing bacteria and eventually there develop a situation that results in gum diseases and several other dental problems.
By now you have known that there is a bridge of connection between your oral health and your mental health. But in such a situation you have to know what you can do to drag yourself out of the puddle of depression. Eventually, your mouth will suffer from dental problems if you have been a victim of depression.
Below enlisted are a few things enumerated with which you can not only boost your oral health but also your mental health.
#1. Open up about your health to your dentist:
Keeping your health condition under the sheet won’t help you in any way. Many people eventually hesitate to share information about their mental health with their dentists. If you end up ignoring your mental health, it won’t be a fruitful solution for your oral health either. Hence it is important for your dentist to know what is actually bothering you in maintaining your oral health. If you share your mental health with your dentist then he or she might end up giving you suggestions to get off those rough patches.
#2. Trying to stay active:
Studies have shown that if you enliven your life by adding little outdoor physical activities each day then it would show illuminating results in wiping off depression from your life. In such a situation the presence of Vitamin D in sunlight would be your companion. When you exercise your brain releases the proteins which help in improving your brain’s function. Exercising helps in counteracting the effects of depression.
#3. Consuming more fruits and vegetables:
What you eat shows up on your skin. Parting yourself from carbs and sugars and adding more and more fruits and vegetables to your plate would help in eliminating depression. Carbs and sugars are not just bad for your teeth, they also worsen the symptoms of depression spiking up your blood sugar levels.
Consuming more fruits, crunchy vegetables, nuts, and legumes helps in regulating your mood and improves your mental health.
#4. Prepare a routine:
Schedule a routine that not only rejuvenates your spirit but is also helpful for your oral health too. You need to create a schedule for yourself where brushing and flossing your teeth would be mandatory. For dragging yourself from depression you need to encourage yourself by setting a daily calendar reminder to make sure that you stay on track.
#5. Get help:
Depression is a common mental health that has grabbed anyone by the neck. If you fall victim to such a situation you need to speak to your physician about the problems that are pulling you down from accelerating yourself. Try speaking to your physician about the problems that you are going through. Opening up about your mental health in front of someone helps in relaxation.
Many people suffer from dental phobia and due to this reason, they stop seeing their dentist on regular basis. This in turn has a severe impact on your oral health leading to various dental diseases.
People who suffer from conditions of Bulimia often end up experiencing tooth and bone dwindling because of acidity. Decreased levels of chemicals are a common reason that affects your oral health.
Hard and vigorous brushing habits result in exacerbating your oral health which in turn results in brushing away the enamel on the surface of your teeth.
#9. Periodontal Disease:
Depression and periodontal disease have got a close link up. Depression has an impact on your oral health through the salivary glands. When the production of saliva gets limited this can result in dry mouth, which results in higher risks of tooth and bone dwindling.
People who have been suffering from periodontal disease can also have depression and the inflammation caused by periodontitis can cause in resulting severe symptoms of depression.
#10. Oral Pain:
People with recurrent pain due to the conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), also tend to suffer from depression. Several studies have also shown that there is a close connection of pain and depression.
#11. Low Energy:
Depression or any other mental illness demolishes your energy which in turn makes you tired and demotivated. Suffering from depression results in neglecting your oral health. You might also feel too tired for preparing meals, and that can eventually lead to poor nutrition.
#12. Neglecting your dental health:
Many people who are suffering from depression tend to neglect their oral hygiene and are more likely to suffer from oral diseases such as gum diseases, tooth decay, and many other dental issues.
If you don’t brush and floss your teeth on regular basis then your teeth would eventually become prone to cavities. People suffering from depression are less likely careful about their dental health and this leads to an increase in several oral diseases. Neglecting your oral health can lead to a decrease in oral hygiene.
If you neglect your oral health and stop brushing and flossing your teeth on a regular basis, your gums might become tender and swollen. Neglecting your oral health can cause gum disease and the infection in the gums can cause tooth loss.
#13. Having Dry mouth:
Having a dry mouth is another sign of depression. When you have a dry mouth, the production of saliva becomes difficult and also limited. This, in turn, leads to several problems such as difficulty in eating and speaking, cracked or chapped lips, burning sensation in the mouth, awful breath, and increased risks of cavities and gum diseases.
Dry mouth is also known as a side effect of some antidepressants. If you are intaking medicines due to depression and experience dry mouth, then this is an issue that shouldn’t be neglected and you should tell your dentist. Telling your dentist about your problem can eventually help in prescribing a different medication that won’t cause any side effects to your oral health.
Keeping up with regular checkups would help your dentist identify any problems that might interfere with you in the near future. If you are struggling with mental health problems like depression, your teeth would show that at different levels. Suffering from depression in general has an ample amount of side effects on your oral health.
When depression or anxiety rolls up over your oral health, then there is always a fight back to this situation. A simple step in maintaining your oral health is brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly. If you end up following these basic oral habits you can be free from several oral diseases and keep your oral health on a good track.
Adding up to this eating a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins and proteins and keeping yourself at an arm’s length from sugary beverages and drinks helps in controlling oral diseases. Visiting your dentist for regular dental checkups and cleanings is an essential thing to do. If you are someone who is a smoker that quitting smoking is one of the best gifts that you can give to your health.
Can Dentists tell if you are suffering from depression?
Dentists can look into the signs of depression, but dentists are not the ones who are mental health professionals. Well, some can tell the signs that indicate whether a person is suffering from depression. People who are suffering from depression end up neglecting their oral health such as brushing and flossing regularly.
Can depression result in messing up your teeth?
Depression can lead to several oral diseases that include dry mouth, gum disease, and tooth decay. In such a situation you might not feel like taking care of your teeth if you are suffering from depression. This results in worsening dental problems.
What to do for improving your oral health when depression suppresses you from within?
The first step is to look out for professional help if you think you are suffering from depression. Once you undergo diagnosis, there are several ways with which the treatment of depression is done. The treatment includes medication, diet changes, and lifestyle changes.
If you are being treated for depression, you and eventually develop the steps for improving your oral health. The basic step for maintaining your oral health is to adapting a habit of brushing and flossing your teeth regularly.
Another important step is to keep up with regular dental appointments which include checkups and cleanings. Adapting a healthy diet and avoiding sugary drinks and beverages also helps in maintaining improved oral health.
If you take care of your oral health then it eventually becomes easy for your dentist to identify your dental problem and then they can offer you the proper guidance for taking care of your teeth and gums.
It is a matter of fact that if you struggle with depression, your teeth would eventually show the signs. Following proper dental hygiene, it can help in protecting your teeth and gums and make them strong for a longer period of time.
How would you manage your mental health if you are suffering from depression?
If you are suffering from depression, then managing your mind becomes quite a task. For that, you need to take active steps in improving your mental health and well-being.
Regular exercising is not only good for your body but also for your mental health. With regular exercise you can boost your self-esteem and this can change the chemicals in your brain which helps in improving your mood.
Developing connections with other people helps in uplifting your mood. Developing good relations help you with support and also increases your self- worth.
Oral Health Preventive Care
If you have poor oral health this can eventually make your mental health worsen. You can also feel embarrassed about your teeth. Due to this situation, you might also find it hard to eat or even drink when you are in front of other people. Because of this reason, you tend to avoid people and this can also affect your mental health.
Some steps for maintaining your teeth and gum health:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride.
- Flossing your teeth twice a day.
- Reducing the consumption of alcohol.
- Visiting your dentist on a regular basis.
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet.
- Chop off those sugary foods and drinks.