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Seniors Lifestyle Magazine: Senior dental care and mental health: The powerful mouth and mind connection

By Dr. Daniel Croley, Chief Dental Officer at Delta Dental of California

Seniors Lifestyle Magazine — Our oral health not only affects our overall health, but also our quality of life and how we connect with others. Our smile has the power to impact our self-perception, confidence and how we feel about ourselves. A recent Delta Dental survey of Americans ages 50 and older, found that 80% of seniors believe that the simple act of smiling can make them feel happier. When we smile, we release endorphins that can help relieve pain, reduce stress and improve our mood which has a direct impact on our overall psychosocial feelings of wellbeing and happiness. 

However, many seniors are holding back from smiling due to a self-perpetuating cycle of poor oral health and mental health. More than 1 in 3 seniors shared they smile less than they did when they were younger due to deteriorating oral health or teeth. This can lead to social isolation, as people may be reluctant to smile or talk to others if they are self-conscious about their teeth.

Read Dr. Croley’s full article in Seniors Lifestyle Magazine.