Mental and oral health are interrelated. Patients with mental health problems often demonstrate the inability to take care of their physical health including oral health, or often struggle to regularly maintaining it. This in turn affects their self-esteem and self-appreciation, affecting their overall health.
Patients with critical mental illnesses are at higher risk of oral health issues because of poor oral hygiene as well as poor diet. Here are some mental illness issues that affect oral health:
- Depression is associated with higher abuse of alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco, which may cause tooth erosion and decay. Depression often causes self-neglect, which often results in poor oral hygiene and consequential tooth decay.
- Schizophrenia is a severe and disabling disease determined by the appearance of abnormalities in one or more of the following states: disordered thought, mirages, delusions, disorganized behaviour, lack of thinking, and anhedonia.
- Bipolar disorder is known as mood shifts that change from manic episode to depression. While the manic phase, the patients look much talkative, hyperactive and cognitive. In opposite patients in the depressive position show symptoms comparable to those explained before in the portion about depression. Acids from vomiting make patients with eating disorders more susceptible to tooth decay.
- Bruxism is not a mental disease, but can be a side effect of mental disease comparable to anxiety. Bruxism is a habit of teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Bruxism can cause teethwear and in more severe cases can cause jaw diseases, damaged teeth, headaches, and other difficulties.
- Dementia is defined by a gradual loss of memory and problems with learning functions. It can be affected by diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Patients with dementia are not able to feel pain or discomfort. Some other signs includerefusalto eat, increased salivation, and increased anxiety. Smileway doctors here in Setapak and USJ will help train and educate the caretakers on how to take care of these patients.
- Dental phobia affects the brain and emotions causing fear of the dentist. In many situations, people who are suffering from dental phobia do so because of previous painful treatments at the dentist. Here in Smileway Dental we always strive to provide painless treatment.
If you have friends and family who suffer from mental illness, our doctors in Smileway Dental Setapak and USJ will help to treat, educate and provide continuous and comprehensive care.