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Mental Health May Affect Oral Health

When you suffer from a mental health condition, it’s not uncommon for a lot of things to fall to the wayside. From neglecting people and activities you once loved to neglecting hygiene and oral health, mental health disorders can take a toll on more than just your mind. That’s the subject of a new study published by researchers at the University of Western Australia in Perth.

The study examined not just the fact that it is often difficult for people with mental health issues to get to a dentist for a variety of reasons, but also that it is often difficult for dental providers to treat them. This too is due to a variety of reasons ranging from uncertainty about how to treat patients with specific conditions to financial constraints that may be preventing patients from having necessary procedures, such as having cavities filled or a root canal.

So, what can be done to solve this multifaceted problem? A few things:

• First and foremost, if you or a loved one has a mental health disorder, don’t skip dental exams. A lot can happen in six months, but a lot more can happen in a year and beyond. Support your loved one by encouraging them to maintain regular medical appointments, including dental visits, and encourage them to care for their health and hygiene in the interim.
• Educate your dentist about your mental health issues when you fill out your new patient paperwork. If you have gotten a new diagnosis since joining the practice, notify the staff that you would like to update this paperwork.
• Be your own advocate and let Dr. Simpson know if there is anything that will or will not make your appointment easier. Whether certain sounds bother you or you have your own techniques to calm yourself during potentially stressful situations like dental visits, let Dr. Simpson know so accommodations can be made.
• Ask about payment plans. If you cannot afford a procedure today or in the future, speak to the front office about what payment options may exist to get you the treatment you need before it’s too late.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call Dr. Simpson’s office at 910-239-7151.

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Michele Simpson DDS

Wilmington Dental Office

3317 Masonboro Loop Rd • Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28409

(910) 550-3959

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3317 Masonboro Loop Rd
Suite 140
Wilmington, NC 28409