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DentistryIQ: ‘Inextricable link’ between oral, mental health for older Americans

Senior Oral Health and Mental Well-Being: A Vital Connection. 37% say oral tooth pain intensifies feelings of depression or hopelessness. 57% feel shame about their oral health and appearance of their teeth. 60% worry about being negatively judged on the appearance of their teeth. 80% said the simple act of smiling can make them feel happier.

DentistryIQ – Findings from a recent survey of Americans over 50 indicate an “inextricable link” between older adults’ mental and oral health, with mental health challenges contributing to a lack of oral care and then that lack of care, and its results, exacerbating feelings of depression.

Among the results of Delta Dental’s first Senior Mental and Oral Health report, conducted in April 2023, 37% of respondents indicated that tooth pain intensifies feelings of depression or hopelessness, and nearly the same percentage, 35%, said they’re likely to skip basic home care when they’re depressed.

Read the full article in DentistryIQ.