Meta: Your mental health can take a toll on your body - including on your oral health.
When you struggle with mental health issues, it can be very difficult to do many things most people take for granted. Social situations become overwhelming, everyday activities lose their joy, and taking care of one's oral health can sometimes fall to the wayside.
If you are wondering about the impact our mental health takes on our oral health, here are just a few ways depression and anxiety can impact our mouths.
Sometimes when we’re stressed we do things we don’t even realize we’re doing. Behaviors like this include teeth grinding, nail-biting, and chewing pens. Unfortunately, all of these behaviors are really bad for our teeth! If you find yourself grinding your teeth or chewing things that aren’t food, speak to Dr. Abelar about having a custom bite guard made. Bite guards provide a safe surface to absorb the pressure of teeth grinding and can help alleviate stress.
Avoiding or Forgetting to Brush
When you are depressed, getting motivated to take care of your hygiene can sometimes be a challenge. This includes brushing your teeth, but brushing your teeth is very important, so it’s imperative that despite your symptoms you try to find a way to motivate yourself to care for your oral hygiene. Setting a phone reminder, timer, or download a reminder app can all be great ways to motivate or remind you to take care of yourself.
Avoiding the Dentist
Odontophobia or the fear of dentists is a real thing and can make people avoid going to the dentist. This of course is dangerous because getting regular oral health screenings can help alert you to things like cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. If you suffer from fear of the dentist, speak to Dr. Abelar about your fears. He can make you feel at ease about your visit and help you get your oral health in check!
For people with eating disorders, this can take a toll on their teeth. Stomach acid from vomiting excessively with bulimia and nutrient deficiencies in anorexia can damage the teeth and gums.
If you suffer from mental health issues, please don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional for help. There is no shame in suffering from these illnesses, and getting treatment can improve your quality of life and your oral health.