Mental health is a lot more complex than you can imagine. We are barely scratching the surface. However, we understand better how some of our lifestyle choices can affect our mental health.
Junk food, for instance, can be appealing as an occasional reward. There is something exciting about sharing a box of donuts with friends from time to time. However, enjoying high fat, high sodium, and high sugar food too frequently can have health consequences. Weight gain and lack of energy are some of the most obvious and easily noticeable differences. Yet, your mood also suffers. The sugar rush from junk food creates a short-lived high sensation that is immediately followed by a drop.
Additionally, the pandemic has also revealed the importance of frequent workouts on the mood. Being active can help increase the production of happy hormones.
You nod knowingly, already aware of how these lifestyle choices relate to your mental health. But here’s something you may not know: Your dental health could also be a source of mental health issues. Unsure how the two are related? Read below to find out how your teeth could influence your mood.
Dental anxiety is a thing
Not everyone keeps up with their dental checkups. Many adults are afraid of going to the dentist. As a result, they are likely to postpone for as long as possible. Dental anxiety can be a serious issue that will affect not only dental health but also mental health. Anxious patients often require additional time to prepare and recover from a visit. It’s not uncommon for someone with dental anxiety to experience panic attacks or extreme fear when they have to see a dentist. Thankfully, many dentists are trained in handling anxiety and reducing discomfort. However, it can be a long-term process for highly anxious patients.
Not everyone can have a set of pearly white teeth. Genetics, lack of dental checkups, high caffeine consumption, smoking, accidental injuries, and even frequent grinding can affect the appearance of your smile. Whether you’ve got a crooked smile, stained teeth, or even a missing tooth, it can be a source of discomfort, both physical and mental. Being ashamed of your teeth is a condition that is too often ignored. Shame can be a debilitating emotion that affects your self-esteem, your behavior, and your self-confidence. Unfortunately, solving serious dental problems can take time and cost a lot of money. Not everyone can afford a Hollywood smile. But rather than carry the shame any further, many patients can opt for a quick and effective solution with dental veneers. Veneers will give them their dream smile when other dental procedures can’t match their budget or requirements.
The act of smiling can encourage your brain to release happiness-boosting hormones. However, if you are not comfortable with your teeth, you instinctively stop yourself from smiling. Someone who feels they can’t smile can train their brain to release less dopamine and serotonin. Low levels of dopamine can drive depression and transform someone’s behavior dramatically.
In conclusion, it would be foolish to assume that having good teeth is a sign of good mental health. However, people who have dental problems are more likely to experience mental health issues. From dental anxiety or dental depression, learning to cope with teeth issues can do wonders for your mental health.