Mental Health Month: Dental Health and Mental Health Go Hand in Hand

In honor of May being Mental Health Month, as declared by Mental Health America in 1949, Dr. James Stewart would like to enlighten you on the relationship between dental and mental health. What many people fail to realize is that they actually go hand in hand. Not only does a beautiful smile do wonders for your self-esteem, but good oral care can also help protect you against serious diseases, including those of a mental nature.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia

In the past few years, researchers have found links between gum disease and memory loss, the latter being a major part of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Scientists are researching this further in an attempt to figure out exactly how the condition of one’s gums affects brain function. Hopefully, preventive dentistry treatments will one day be able to protect patients against these chronic diseases. Furthermore, studies have shown that those experiencing permanent tooth loss before the age of 35 may be at risk for developing Alzheimer’s. So be sure to protect those pearly whites, not just for the sake of your smile, but also for your mind.

Difficulties in Maintaining Oral Health for Patients with a Mental Illness

Unfortunately for individuals with a mental illness such as dementia, maintaining proper oral hygiene can prove extremely difficult. Due to this, many of these individuals fall victim to tooth decay and periodontal disease, or gum disease as it is commonly known. Both of these conditions lead to great pain and infection, which often heightens the individual’s sense of confusion. If you know someone in this situation, be sure that they are receiving the best dental care possible to help them avoid life-changing consequences.

If you are concerned about your dental health, contact our Livonia dentist office at (734) 425-4400. We serve patients from Farmington, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Garden City, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Westland, and the surrounding Livonia communities.