Is There a Connection Between Oral and Mental Health

HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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in the mouth. This helps protect against microbial invasion or overgrowth. Side effects of antipsychotic, antidepressant and mood stabilizer drugs may include a higher susceptibility to oral bacterial infections. Lithium can cause dry mouth syndrome and stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth and lips). Dry mouth can result in gum disease, oral infection, salivary gland infections and dental caries.


The conclusion is a direct, cyclical, bidirectional relationship exists between oral and mental health. Neglecting one can affect the other and lead to additional problems.

IS THERE A CONNECTION BETWEEN ORAL AND MENTAL HEALTH

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

In general, stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which triggers other physiological responses, including decreased saliva flow, which increases plague formation.


Does Poor Mental Health Lead to Poor Dental Health?

As many as 60 percent of those with mental health issues also have poor oral health and are three times more likely to have their teeth removed. Depression can be accompanied by a higher use of alcohol, caffeine and tobacco, as well as self-neglect and poor oral hygiene, all of which contribute to tooth erosion and decay. Bipolar affective disorder often causes over-brushing that may damage gums and cause dental abrasion or mucosal or gingival lacerations. Bulimia can lead to enamel erosion and tooth decay due to acids from vomiting. Anorexia can cause reduced calcium levels.


Medications and Oral Health

Decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants can reduce saliva flow, according to the Mayo Clinic. Saliva aids in removing food from the mouth and teeth and also neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the

Mental health is linked to oral health, and vice versa. Good oral health can enhance mental and overall health, while poor oral health can exacerbate mental issues. Likewise, mental conditions can cause oral health issues. The connection between them is direct, cyclical and, when oral health is neglected, detrimental.


Does Poor Dental Health Lead to Poor Mental Health?

Several years of research around the world has shown a strong relationship between gum disease and many mental health problems, including stress, depression, distress, anxiety and loneliness. All these conditions can cause the body to produce more of the hormone cortisol, which, in increased amounts, can aid in the progression of periodontal disease.


Since 1950, emotional factors have been identified in periodontal disease. Periodontal diseases are common chronic inflammatory diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms that elevate pro-inflammatory cytokines, resulting in tissue destruction. Periodontal disease is influenced by stress, which can hinder periodontal treatments. The most notable example is acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, one of the seven general types of periodontitis commonly called trench mouth, according to Dr. K. Malathi, M.D.S., of the Department of Periodontics at Tamil Nadu Government College in Chennai, India.