July 8

The Connection Between Mental Health and Oral Health

Many in the world of therapy and psychiatry are becoming increasingly used to the truth that there is no layer of separation between your physical health and mental health. In fact, this applies to your oral health as much as anything else. Here, we’re going to look at the ways your mental and emotional wellbeing can be affected by your teeth and what you can do about it.

Self-consciousness and self-doubt

Feeling unconfident about your teeth is not a pleasant feeling and it’s one that a lot of people struggle to get over. Societally, we put a lot of pressure on our appearances and the world is rife with examples of people being mistreated over small physical imperfections. Many of these problems stem from childhood meaning that, if there was a failure to treat them there and then, ti can manifest as a kind of hopelessness and we, as adults, doubt our ability to fix them. However, with treatments like Invisalign, it’s a lot easier to treat problems we typically fix in childhood such as misalignment.

The importance of a smile

Our oral health affects our health in a lot of ways, but one of the ways it affects our emotional health is in “regulating” how much we express ourselves. If your teeth are discolored or in any way considered unsightly by you, then you can force yourself to smile and emote less. This, in turn, makes us self-conscious more often and can limit our ability to really experience emotions as we should. Teams like Polished Dental Studio can help restore that range of emotion. If we feel we can smile without worrying, we can feel more comfortable in being ourselves and reacting naturally.

Teeth and competence

Our teeth are more than just decorations for the face, of course. They also have practical roles in helping us speak and chew and, as such, if you are lacking teeth, you can lack some of your ability to do these things. This can make us less likely to even try and can lead us to choose isolation in instances where our inabilities may become publicly manifest. Of course, things like missing teeth can be easily repaired nowadays.

The importance of investing in yourself

There is another aspect of mental health that is tied into oral health. People rarely tend to let oral health standards fall out of laziness or any other character or moral failing. More often, poor oral health standards are a form of a lack of self-care that is often associated with low self-esteem. Because we don’t hold ourselves in the regard we should, we can let our standards slip. However, this is an inverse relationship. By investing time into self-care, including taking care of our oral health, we can also start to improve our mental wellbeing.

The connection between oral health and mental health runs deeper than you might think. With that in mind, be certain to take care of yourself in all aspects if you’re looking to improve your emotional health.

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