Physical and Mental Effects of Having Poor Dental Hygiene

A man with poor dental hygiene

There is an eternal bond between oral and overall health. Good oral health can enhance mental and physical health. Poor oral health can increase mental issues and mental conditions can cause oral health issues. There can be a vicious cycle with consistent pain and inflammation in the mouth leading to further depression or poor self-esteem.

At Dental Lab Direct, we aim to offer awareness, and cost-effective treatment for health conditions every day, especially oral health. Regularly brushing with fluoride toothpaste combined with reduced sugar intake is the ideal way to a healthy mouth and enables one to speak, eat, and socialize without pain, embarrassment, or discomfort.

But, poor diet and irregular routines of people experiencing severe depression or substance abuse can result in them missing the warning signs of cavities forming and so lead to developing further infections or even losing a tooth.

Dental Anxiety

One of the most common mental health issues that directly affect oral health is dental anxiety. We can describe this as a fear of visiting the dentist, even if it’s for a simple check-up. Such mental issues have adverse effects on the individual’s physical appearance, self-image, and self-esteem. Patients with severe mental difficulties are 2.7 times more likely to have lost all their teeth than the general population. Similarly, people with mental difficulties have higher statistical rates of tooth decay and missing teeth which affect self-image and physical appearance.

When teeth and gums are unattractive, people become reluctant to smile. Smiling is a socially accepted way to show friendliness and confidence. When you fail to smile, people around get the impression that you are unfriendly or do not have any mood to interact. This turning away affects self-confidence and makes you feel that others do not like you. In reality, others are just picking up cues from you.     

Physical Difficulties

Since our mouth is a primary entryway into the body, poor oral health can have drastic consequences on the entire body. It is vital to practice good oral hygiene and to see the dentist regularly in order to prevent serious difficulties. Here are some health problems that can pop up.

1. Dementia

Poor oral hygiene can affect the brain. Substances that are released from gums inflamed by infection can kill brain cells and lead to memory loss. Dementia can be an outcome of gingivitis when the bacteria in the mouth spreads to the nerve channels or enters the bloodstream.

2. Cancer

Poor oral hygiene habits like smoking or using other tobacco products can cause oral or throat cancer, but other types of cancer have also been linked to gum diseases. The risk for pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, or blood cancer is much higher for people who have poor oral hygiene habits.

3. Diabetes

Gum diseases can lead to worse symptoms like high blood sugar levels. It is crucial for diabetics to take good care of their oral health to prevent complications with their disease. Since gum diseases can lead to higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, a person with poor oral hygiene is at an increased risk of getting diabetes.

4. Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a serious health issue that affects the heart, kidneys, bones, and blood pressure. People with gum diseases have weaker immune systems and are more likely to get infections. Many people who suffer from poor oral health also suffer from kidney diseases. Kidney diseases can be fatal if it leads to kidney failure or cardiovascular difficulty.

5. Respiratory Infections

The respiratory area can suffer as an outcome of poor oral hygiene. Bacteria in the mouth from infected teeth and inflamed gums can be breathed into the lungs or travel there through the bloodstream. Once there, the bacteria can lead to respiratory infections, acute bronchitis, and even pneumonia.

The ideal way to prevent serious physical and mental health issues caused by bad oral health is to practice good oral hygiene. Healthy teeth are clean and free of pain caused by cavities or bacteria. Oral health is an indicator of overall health.

Yet even though damage to teeth and gums can be irreversible, it doesn’t mean that you need to stop smiling. There are plenty of viable options for imperfect teeth, like affordable partial dentures or clip-on dental veneers. While these cannot replace good oral hygiene, they can help improve your confidence without breaking the bank.

Visit us at Dental Lab Direct to explore affordable dental appliances that can help you maintain your oral health and in turn, improve your mental and physical health as well!