Recent studies show that oral health has links to serious illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, and overall physical health. But there is yet another area where the state of a person’s teeth is making an impact: emotional health.
The connection between oral and mental health is interesting as they have a cyclical relationship. Dental health impacts a person’s sense of self. Meanwhile, low self-esteem can indirectly result in poor dental health. This is a major concern for adults in Indianapolis where 27.3% of adults over 65 have had all their natural teeth removed.
Where One Ends, the Other Begins
The cycle begins with the deterioration of their dental health, either by neglect or lack of funds for quality dental care. Tooth loss, in particular, has a big impact on a person’s emotional well-being.
People who have lost one or more teeth feel embarrassed and uncomfortable speaking, laughing, and smiling because it might reveal the gaps in between their teeth. As a result, many choose to remain quiet and avoid social interactions rather than subject themselves to the scrutiny and judgment of their peers. This could lead to depression, especially if they are unable to access restorative cosmetic treatments like dentures and implants.
The cycle takes dangerous hold when poor self-esteem drains a person’s motivation to take better care of their bodies — or in this case, their teeth. This brings us back to the primary problem of poor dental health. As long as this is unresolved, the cycle will continue.
Breaking the Emotional Loop
Fortunately, people who have retreated emotionally and socially can bounce back — or rather, break the cycle. All it takes is one firm push to go to a dentist and receive dental care. Ask for referrals, drive around, or search online for dental clinics in Indianapolis near you.
Overcoming emotional stress due to poor oral health can be challenging for adults; but, it’s not impossible to achieve.