Mental health is a growing concern, and it has seen gaining greater visibility in the medical community. As studies into this area of medical science continue, we begin to discover that its impact is much further reaching than we initially had assumed. One set of recent studies has revealed that the connection between mental health and oral health is more than coincidental. Complications that patients with ADHD, depression, anxiety, and similar conditions experience from their conditions lead directly to dental health concerns.
Behavioral Complications From Mental Health Create Oral Health Complications
There has been an expanding recognition of mental health concerns over the past couple of decades that has led to better diagnosis. This has led to an elevation in the number of identified cases and has made studying the impact of these conditions more insightful. What’s been discovered is that those with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and ADHD all have higher rates of impact on dental health than previously expected.
Dental damage has been revealed to occur due to failure to maintain good oral health routines due to the executive dysfunction that can occur with these conditions. On the other end of the spectrum, manic periods and anxiety about dental health can result in excessive or overly aggressive brushing and flossing. This can lead to damage to teeth and gums in ways just as dangerous as failing to care for the teeth entirely. Results found in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry from various studies demonstrate just how troublesome these conditions can be for the oral health of those suffering from them.
Things To Discuss With Your Oral and Mental Health Practitioners
If you’re among those, who have discovered that their mental health concerns make maintaining good oral health difficult, speaking to your dentist and mental health provider can help. A growing number of dentists are available to work with patients like you to find solutions to the complications that occur. Your mental health practitioner may have suggestions that will help as well. Dentists can generally offer one or more of the following:
- Relaxation Techniques: Separate rooms can often be provided to help, along with soothing music, televisions to watch, etc. The options available differ from dentist to dentist, so be sure to speak with yours.
- Improved Communication: Speaking with your dentist before the procedure and expressing your concerns can lead to a sense of comfort during your treatment. It helps them to know what you’re experiencing and to form a plan with you.
- Informed Awareness: Innovations in oral and mental health have changed the treatment options available. Speak with your dentist to learn what happens during modern dental treatments, and ensure that you’re fully informed. This can help ease your concerns.
Reach out to get an appointment to begin your journey to good oral health. Discussing your mental health concerns shouldn’t come with a stigma. The dental community is working every day to ensure we experience a future of dental care without it.