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By | Syed Safa Chishti

Srinagar: A study conducted at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven by researchers put forth startling results determining how the poor maintenance of oral hygiene affects the brain health. The findings initially began as an approach to initially explain the link between dental and mental health relevance with each other. 

While briefing Medical News Today (MNT), Dr. Cyprien Rivier, one of the research authors explained how an improved oral hygiene requires minimal financing with less timing for mental wellbeing of a person. “People who are genetically prone to cavities, missing teeth, or needing dentures have a higher burden of silent cerebrovascular disease, represented by a 24% increase in the amount of white matter hyper intensities through the MRI images”, he said. 

The methodology used comprised of ‘Mendelian Randomization’, that focuses on monitoring the genetic detailing and health information, involved with sampling of over 100 variants with substandard dental health cases like cavities, missing tooth etc., followed by their brain scans that could indicate their brain health.

Dental Specialist, Dr. Ashim Malik from Srinagar believes that the possibility of the two factors being bridged to be correct, “It does inflict its consequence on mental health. People having poor oral hygiene lack self-confidence due to which they are unable to communicate freely with confidence which overall affects them mentally. A good confident smile on the other hand determines a confident personality of an individual which can be a key for successful conversation, thereafter leading to better results”.

Dr. Malik highlights how the factors of a good oral hygiene could play a vital role in constructing self-esteem, confidence and fit social life,“Mental wellbeing of an individual is indicative of his/her physical appearance since one of the common things noticed in a conversation is a smile. I regularly see patients with poor oral hygiene dealing with depression do to their unaesthetic smile”. 

He elaborates those cases having common grounds to be prevalent mostly in the young adults. “The generation of the current era is indulged prominently in such cases which affect their physical health. Taking aid of many self-soothing behaviors like as smoking, drinking, and eating processed foods, all can impact your health, including your oral hygiene. One of the major drawbacks in our country is lack of dental awareness and patient education and motivation the non-presence of dental insurance is a vital reason too” he said.

Adding more to the details, Psychologist, Syed Tahir Rufai, mentions about the importance of implementing awareness on oral hygiene amongst children, right from earlier stages, in order to exempt out the causes of any anxiety or mental issues while growing up. Shedding more light on the study he shares, “In broader understanding of psychology there is a possible connection between the two things. If someone has bad oral hygiene, his breath smells due to dehydration which may make them self-conscious. It thereby triggers social anxiety concerning people’s perception therein in the brain. The same can be observed reversibly in people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD) who get prone to damage their oral health from excessive brushing of their tooth enamel or usage of liquids or substances, over gargling etc.”

Tahir informs how the influence of bad breaths, deteriorating teeth conditions could trigger a person’s self-confidence and halt their motivation instincts overall, “It’s possible that one’s concentration levels could get affected badly. Not only that, badly oral hygiene also tend to cause digestive problems from bad bacteria ingestion, leading to their bad physical health which eventually affects mental health too. Health overall in all respects are interconnected in our bodies”, he declares.

Further scopes to research on the study explaining more details on the subject for better understanding are henceforth expected to undergo in the time ahead.