Does Oral Health Affect Mental Health?

Posted by DR. AMI DESAI on Jan 20 2022, 09:54 AM

Every part of our body has a connection with our mind, including our mouth. Though it’s difficult to find the connection between the two, oral health has a great impact on your whole body, especially on your mental health. So, you should maintain your oral and mental health. 

Impact of Oral Health on Your Mental Health

Poor oral health can affect your self-confidence or self-esteem. Many people tend to avoid people or gatherings because of various oral issues. Some reasons that can cause social anxiety are:

  • Bad breath
  • Yellowing
  • Decaying or lost teeth
  • Dental disorders
  • Difficulty during eating or speaking

These issues will make them hide their smile, avoid conversations, or refuse to have their photographs taken. This might make them lonely, which could lead to depression. Over time, it can have an intense impact on their mental health. 

Research says that poor oral health can also cause amnesia or memory loss. The bacteria from some oral diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis can pass through the bloodstream to the brain and damage the neurons and cause memory loss. 

Impact of Mental Health on Oral Health

We’ve discussed how poor oral health can trigger mental illness. But it also works vice-versa. Depression, anxiety and other mental conditions often indirectly bring about oral problems. 

These are the common mental illnesses that have a bad impact on a person's oral health:

Anxiety and panic attacks - Patients with dental phobia or anxiety do not see their dentists regularly, which can have a severe impact on oral health. 

Schizophrenia and depression - Depressed or schizophrenic people are prone to teeth and gum diseases because they often don’t care about their oral hygiene. 

Eating disorders - Patients with bulimia (binge eating) experience more production of acid in their mouth, causing tooth decay. 

Bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) - Patients with bipolar disorder or OCD are likely to overdo brushing or mouth washing, which can damage their gums. 

‌Dementia- Patients with dementia tend to forget to practice oral care, which can cause gum disease or tooth decay. 

‌Addiction- people who are addicted to alcohol, smoking, or caffeine consume more of these dentally harmful substances, making them prone to oral issues. 

Some medications like antidepressants can also cause a parched mouth, reduced saliva flow, and production of more acid in the mouth.


Dr. Ami Desai offers excellent services for your dental problems. For more details, contact us at (408) 946-0777, or visit us at 440 E Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas, CA 95035.

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Ami Desai, D.D.S.

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