Did you know that oral health – which, best case scenario, equals to a healthy mouth – affects not only your self-esteem, your personal and professional interactions, but even your mental wellbeing?
The impact of a healthy mouth on self-esteem and overall wellbeing is no news. Several surveys and studies have been conducted on the matter. But in general terms, it is important to point out that oral health is profoundly connected to the general condition of the entire body. In particular, gum disease and its inevitable consequence (extensive tooth loss) are linked with several other health complications. Even from a psychological point of view, a healthy mouth can and does affect a person: a regular and proper oral hygiene allows you to show clean, white and well-cared for teeth and boosts your self-esteem, but also implements your social relationships.
In plain terms, the way our mouth looks influences heavily how we look, eat, speak, taste, socialize, kiss… and enjoy life. A healthy smile equals to greater self-confidence and a healthier body.
And if it’s evident that beautiful teeth encourage you to smile more, the opposite is just as true. People with bad oral health are usually less self-confident, and the condition of their mouth can profoundly impact their social interactions and overall health.
Is it correct to affirm that oral health impacts mental wellbeing, too? The answer is yes.
Poor or neglected oral health can create great damages in terms of feelings of personal value and self-assurance, which in turn are very harmful to a person’s mental wellbeing. At the same time, people who have mental conditions such as depression are less prone to take care of their oral hygiene, and that is often due to a decreased concern for their own general wellbeing. In many cases, the critical routine of cleaning teeth might be overlooked and lead to severe problems such as gum disease, creating a vicious circle that needs to be broken.
Usually, there are specific symptoms that are linked to poor oral health and that cause or even exacerbate social anxiety and heavily influence social interactions. These factors include:
- Difficulty speaking
- Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
- Poor appearance caused by yellowing, decaying or missing teeth
That’s why it is essential to remember that one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in the world is tooth decay – which is something not everyone knows. And yet this condition is widespread, transversal, infectious and needs to be managed correctly. Oral health matters for all the reasons we have listed above and because, more than anything else, smiling matters!
Our smile tells other people how happy we are to see them and interact with them, how likable we find them and how prone to communication we are. It makes others feel good, and it makes us feel good just as much as poor oral health makes us sadder and more self-conscious.
Encouraging good oral-health behaviors is, therefore, necessary for everyone, children included. The sooner we develop a holistic approach concerning our general wellbeing, starting from our mouth, the better we will be able to avoid easily preventable oral diseases that can impact our entire life.