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11 Jan
mental health condition

What You Should Know About Oral and Mental Health

Your mental health has an impact on your overall health, including your oral health. People who have mental health issues are more likely to have oral health issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. Oral health has an impact on overall health and can help improve mental health. 

The Influence of Oral Health on Mental Health 

Your oral and mental health are more intertwined than you may realize. Some coping habits, such as smoking, can be caused by mental health disorders and have a negative impact on oral health. Some people with mental illnesses may avoid or stop going to the dentist. 

People suffering from mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression may engage in behaviors or experience other issues as a result of their illness that affect their oral health, such as:

  • Appetite loss, which can lead to poor nutrition
  • Consuming an excessive amount of sugary foods or beverages
  • Dental phobia is a fear of going to the dentist.
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty performing everyday tasks such as brushing their teeth
  • Problems with alcohol or drug use
  • Smoking 
  • dry mouth.

Nutritional deficiencies:

  • You may not feel like eating if you suffer from anxiety, depression, or another mental illness.
  • You may also consume an excessive amount of sugary treats or beverages, which may make you feel better temporarily but can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
  • Calcium levels may be low in people who have poor nutrition or eating disorders.
  • Calcium loss can weaken the surface enamel of your teeth. 
  • Some eating disorders, such as bulimia (vomiting after eating), can harm the throat, teeth, and mouth. Bulimia can also cause dry mouth and dental problems by reducing the amount of saliva in the mouth.
  • Burning mouth syndrome, characterized by a chronic, burning sensation on the tongue, roof of the mouth, and inside of the cheeks, can be caused by malnutrition, but it can also be caused by depression.
  • Some people who are depressed may have good oral health and nutrition but suffer from burning mouth syndrome.


  • Dental anxiety affects many people, including those who do not have a mental health problem.
  • If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you may avoid visiting the dentist on a regular basis, which can lead to dental problems.

Low energy levels:

  • You may feel tired and unmotivated if you suffer from depression or another mental illness.
  • You may have difficulty performing basic tasks such as brushing and flossing your teeth.
  • You may also be too exhausted to prepare meals, which may result in poor nutrition.


  • Anxiety and depression can make you more sensitive to pain. This can cause you to be afraid of going to the dentist.

Alcohol, smoking, and other drugs:

  • If you suffer from depression and anxiety, you are more likely to consume alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can cause gum disease and possibly oral cancer over time.

Dry mouth:

  • Some medications used to treat mental illnesses, such as antidepressants, can cause dry mouth. A dry mouth may increase your chances of developing gum disease.

Preventive oral health care 

Poor oral health can exacerbate mental illness. You may be self-conscious about your teeth, or you may find it difficult to eat or drink in public. This can cause you to avoid social situations, which can have a negative impact on your health. 

Here are some preventative measures you can take to keep your teeth and gums healthy:

  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
  • Twice a day, use dental floss or an interdental brush to clean between your teeth.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Reduce or discontinue alcohol consumption
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and beverages.
  • See your dentist on a regular basis.
  • Consume a well-balanced diet.
  • Try xylitol mints if your medication causes dry mouth. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that promotes saliva production and may help prevent plaque and cavities. The following are some useful xylitol products:

Toothpaste, mint, gum, mouth spray 

How to Take Care of Your Mental Health 

You can actively work on improving your mental health and well-being. 

Exercise: Physical activity is beneficial not only to the body but also to the mind. Exercise can boost your self-esteem and change the chemicals in your brain, which can help you feel better. 

Make contact with others. Good relationships give you a sense of belonging, assist you in finding support, and boost your self-esteem. Here are some ideas for strengthening relationships:

  • Have lunch with a coworker.
  • Take a walk with a friend.
  • At dinner, converse with your children or partner while your phones and television are turned off.
  • Participate in community service.

Mindfulness should be practiced: slow down and pay attention to your feelings as well as the sounds, smells, and sights that surround you throughout the day. Training your mind to be present in the moment can help you feel calm and focused, as well as provide a sense of well-being. 

Consult your doctor: Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble with your mental health. A doctor may prescribe medications or assist you in finding a therapist to treat your problem. 

Oral health and mental health are inextricably linked. Make sure to see your dentist on a regular basis, and if you have any concerns about your mental health, talk to your doctor right away.