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Did You Know Your Mental Health Can Impact Your Oral Hygiene?

We all know that your mental state has a large impact on your day to day life and even how you feel physically. Conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety have been known to cause headaches, extreme tiredness and even some digestive problems. However, your mental health can have an effect on the health of your teeth as well. Learn how depression and anxiety can alter the health of your teeth and gums, and the things you can do to stay healthy.

Anxiety Mental Health Issues And Your Teeth

Problems with anxiety is reported to be the most common mental health disorder in the country. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, over 40 million people in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders. Not only do anxiety problems cause physical stress, but they can also cause a series of oral health problems including the following conditions.


Grinding one’s teeth, especially while asleep, is known as bruxism. This is usually a byproduct of stress. The pressure put on the teeth can destroy the enamel, fractures in the teeth and uncomfortable sensitivity. When this happens, there may be a higher risk for tooth decay and cavities.

Jaw Problems

Problems with the jaw, including TMJ, are connected to stress since the cause is usually due to teeth grinding or clenching during moments of extreme tension.

Chipped Or Broken Teeth

When one is stressed or nervous, a common habit includes chewing on hard objects like pens, ice or fingernails. Doing so wears down the enamel on the teeth leaving the tooth exposed to potential damage.

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Depression And Your Oral Health

Depression is another mental health disorder that impacts millions of Americans. Depression can cause a person to lose total interest in day to day activities, which could include paying attention to your oral hygiene or even visiting the dentist. As a result, depression can be the cause of oral health problems including the following issues.

Tooth Decay

Daily brushing and flossing is the first line of defense against cavities. When depression makes this a difficult chore, the risk for cavities and decay becomes greater.

Tooth Loss

The combination of not taking time for daily oral care and not visiting the dentist for regular exams can take an extreme tool on the health of the teeth. Many studies demonstrate that those suffering from depression have a much higher risk of losing one or more of their teeth.

Gum Diseases

Patients suffereing from depression are much more likely to suffere from gum disease or periodontal disease. Regular flossing is the primary method for preventing gum disease. However, for those with depression, flossing can seem like an even more difficult task than brushing.

Keeping Your Mental Health Issues At Bay

If you suffer from anxiety or depression, there are still ways you can keep up with healthy oral hygiene habits. Try setting alarms to remind and motivate you each day to brush and floss. Even giving yourself a small daily reward each time you brush can help you remember to take care of your oral health.

While mental health issues can be crippling for some, its important to remember that you are not alone. Talk to your doctor or your dentist at your next dental exam and explain how you are feeling. Together we can help build a plan of action for managing your mental and oral health. Call The Dental and Denture Care Center today to schedule an appointent at (352) 848-1050 or contact us on our website here.