May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. We call attention to it here; since people tend to neglect self-care when they experience mental illness. Medical professionals use the month to reaffirm commitment to understanding mental illness and urge people to access treatment and reassure anyone who is struggling to know that they are not alone. Unfortunately, although much is known about physical health, mental health is often misunderstood. The 2021 May theme is Tools 2 Thrive. As the leading Glendora dental office, we strive to provide care for people, no matter where they are in their physical and emotional health.
Facts about Adult Mental Health Illness
- About 1 in 5 American adults will have a mental health condition in any given year.
- Only 41 percent of them will receive services.
- About 10 percent of the American adult population will have a mood disorder, such as depression or bipolar.
- 18 percent have an anxiety disorder, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, are real, common, and treatable.
Mental Illness on the Rise
Responding to the uptrend in mental illness, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has supported several major initiatives to strengthen the mental health of all Americans:
- Millions of Americans now have access to affordable health care under the Affordable Care Act. Plans on the Health Insurance Marketplaces are required to cover mental health and substance use disorder services.
- President Biden is carrying out a comprehensive plan to increase access to mental health treatment and services to support children, families, and communities in response to recent gun violence tragedies.
- The HHS partnered with the Department of Labor and the Treasury to issue the final rule to implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). MHPAEA makes it easier for Americans to get the care they need by removing certain limits on insurance coverage for substance use and mental health treatment and services.
10 Tools Mental Health America offers to help people achieve wellness:
- Connect with others.
- Stay positive.
- Get physically active.
- Help others.
- Get enough sleep.
- Create joy and satisfaction.
- Eat well.
- Take care of your spirit.
- Deal better with hard times.
- Get professional help if you need it.
Self-Care and Mental Health
There is an undeniable connection between mental and oral health. In fact, Delta Dental (DD) writers say:
“If you’re feeling blue, your teeth might be, too. Recent research suggests that people with anxiety or depression may experience a decline in oral health. Understand the connection and learn what to do if it’s happening to you.”
Mental Health & Hygiene
Also, according to DD, the link between oral and mental health is hard to ignore. Nearly two-thirds of people who are depressed reported having had a toothache in the last year. A study also indicated that half of all people with depression rated their teeth condition as fair or poor. Also, a scientific review uncovered a strong link between periodontal (gum) disease and mood conditions like stress, distress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. People with these conditions often lose focus on oral health habits. And neglect often leads to serious dental issues. Depression, for example, can cause people to brush and floss at irregular intervals, skip dentist appointments, follow unhealthy diets, and self-medicate with alcohol or smoking. Also, people who suffer from anxiety often brux their teeth, which can lead to TMJ Disorder and associated sore jaws, and even cracked teeth.
If you or someone you love struggles with depression, anxiety, or another mental health disorder, please seek professional help. And don’t neglect your teeth.
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.