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How Does Your Oral Health Affect Your Mental Health?

DISCLOSURE: Noelle Copeland RDH is an Oral Care Specialist and Dental Consultant who provides content for Brilliant Oral Care and Baby Buddy.

There’s nothing more cyclical than how stress, anxiety, worry, and a dash of depression can rapidly change our systemic health. When our minds are swirling with too much information, we tend to stop taking care of ourselves. So it’s no surprise that when our mental health is on the downspout, our oral health takes a back seat, instigating gingivitis, cavities, and even periodontal disease. But what about the reverse? Can having poor oral health cause mental health issues? Yes, I think it can.


Deformities and even abnormalities in facial structure can be something a person is born with, or they can happen at some point in one’s lifetime. Take, for instance, cleft palates/lips. Clefting can be so severe that eating, speaking, and even breathing are significantly compromised, making maintaining or performing effective oral care difficult. Often these patients suffer from gingivitis/periodontal disease even when doing their best at homecare. So not only do you have the implications of clefting structurally, you have the emotional and social constructs that come with having less than stellar oral health. Patients can feel overwhelmed and embarrassed, leading to depression, withdrawal, and lack of participation in social activities.

Recovering Addicts

Recovering from addiction is a long and difficult journey that encompasses multiple systems in the body. Someone could be years into their sobriety but still carry the battle scars of a past addictive lifestyle. One of the most socially and emotionally hampering side effects is rapid decay in the mouth. It takes a big financial investment to begin reconstructing the mouth, and a lot of times, surgery is required, which is a potential trigger for addiction to resurface. So instead of addressing oral infection and rotting teeth, some people decide to live with the consequences of poor oral health. This, however, can affect social interactions, job capacity, and personal relationships, leading to a reduction of feeling good about themselves as they try to regain stability while maintaining sobriety.


Not only does being poor affect your mental health, but it also affects your systemic health and your oral health. The first place we compromise when money is tight, for most people, is by removing self-care from our routine. Once this has happened for an extended period, we feel it, not only in our bodies or our poorly taken care of mouth, we also feel it in our minds and souls. When I was poor, I took less care of myself, which caused more health issues, which caused more sadness and depression. Our mental health can be strong, and it can be weak, just like our bodies. Not only do we need to care for our bodies, but we also need to exercise and care for our minds as well, and if we can do both, we just might find our version of a Utopia.

If you were looking for better and healthier ways to establish an effective home care routine, you found the right place. If you want to try the best toothbrush for kids or adults, look no further than Brilliant Oral Care, and if you need a specialty toothbrush, we’ve got you covered. Our round head toothbrush not only removes the plaque on teeth, it simultaneously cleans and removes the plaque and bacteria found on the cheeks, gums, teeth, and tongue.  #BRUSHBRILLIANT.

© 2021 Compac Industries. All rights reserved. This article provides information about “oral health topics” as expressed through the perspective and experience of the author. The information provided does not substitute professional advice or counsel, including diagnosing or treating any condition. Always seek the advice of your dentist or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, an oral condition, an illness, or treatment of any listed or unlisted situation above. By using this site, you signify your assent to our Terms and Conditions. If you do not agree to all of these Terms and Conditions, do not use this site.

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