Why good oral health can help prevent mental health risks

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With the holidays over for another year, many can feel down and blue as January rolls in. 

And a new study shows how better oral health can help to keep the mental health challenges at bay.

After analysing more than 60,000 patients, researchers found a significant link between gum disease and mental health risks.

So what are the stats?

Patients with a history of gum disease had: 

  • An increased risk (37%) of developing mental health problems compared to those who had not suffered
  • An increased risk of autoimmune (33%) and cardiovascular disease (18%). 

'Poor oral health is extremely common globally,' said Dr Joht Singh Chandan, a lead author of the study from the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research.

'When oral ill-health progresses, it can lead to a substantially reduced quality of life. However, until now, not much has been known about the association of poor oral health and many chronic diseases, particularly mental ill-health.

'Therefore, we conducted one of the largest epidemiological [population] studies of its kind to date and found evidence that gum disease appears to be associated with an increased risk of developing these chronic diseases.'

As a result, researchers are calling for people to pay special attention to their oral health. This could help to prevent mental health challenges in the long run. 

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