One of the unexpected side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is its impact on our mental and oral health. Did you know that your mental health and stress levels can directly impact your dental health?
According to the Daily Herald, half of all American adults are experiencing higher levels of stress, isolation, and anxiety during this pandemic. When stressed, your body produces the cortisol hormone. Cortisol is known to regulate blood pressure, control your sleep cycle, and boost your energy. But when your body produces too much cortisol, it can affect your gum health by making you more susceptible to gum disease.
Stress can also increase your risk of grinding your teeth while you sleep and increase your risk of developing canker sores in your mouth. These risks are compounded by the other side effects of stress, including adopting poor eating and sleeping habits and smoking or drinking more frequently.
Studies Link Dental and Mental Health
According to the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, people with depression are also more likely to complain of a toothache than the average individual. Additionally, people who suffer from depression are more likely to rate their dental health as fair or poor.
Further, some dental experts believe that a person’s dental health can greatly affect their self-image and self-perception. People who suffer from halitosis (bad breath), discolored teeth, crooked teeth, or lost teeth, may have a more negative perception of themselves. This could quickly lead to a deterioration of their self-confidence and possibly lead to social anxiety or depression.
Mental health issues such as anorexia nervosa, substance abuse, and schizophrenia are directly linked to tooth decay, according to a 2016 study. If you are suffering from depression, loneliness, anxiety, or other mental health problems, reach out to a mental health professional for help.
Contact Babylon Dental Care
Because of the stresses introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to maintain a healthy routine at home while routine dental cleanings are temporarily on pause. The dentists at Babylon Dental Care are available to serve our patients if they are experiencing emergencies. We have adopted strict safety precautions to guarantee the safety of each of our guests. Please give us a call at (631) 983-6665 or contact us online if you have concerns about your dental health.