Oral Health and Loneliness

Smiley women, who don't show her Loneliness.

Blog Highlights

  • Poor oral health can lead to many disadvantages for older patients including loneliness
  • Oral health and hygiene is incredibly important
  • Ask your dentist today about how to maintain proper oral hygiene

In today's society, when holistic medicine or treating the whole person is becoming more and more popular, it is worth noting that oral health can have an impact on a person's emotional well-being. A recent study revealed that people over the age of 50 who have poor oral health and hygiene are more susceptible to feelings of loneliness.

The study was conducted in England and published in the European Journal of Ageing. The journal reported data gathered by the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. In the study, participants filled out a questionnaire regarding Oral Impacts on Daily Performances. Questions ranged from problems with eating to embarrassment when smiling.

After analyzing the results of the 4,640 participants, researchers concluded that there is a direct correlation between oral health and loneliness in older people. Participants with one or more oral health issues that affected them daily were two times more likely to express loneliness. Other factors seemed to contribute to these feelings, too. Participants with lower levels of education and lower socio-economic positions reported more feelings of loneliness, while women exhibited the most feelings of loneliness overall.

So what does this mean? It would seem that oral health and hygiene affect more than just the teeth in your mouth. For older patients, poor oral health can lead to many disadvantages, such as feelings of loneliness. Healthy oral habits keep your teeth strong and reduce the chance of later-in-life oral issues, which in turn contributes to a more fulfilling and less-lonely life.

Don't wait. Ask your dentist today about how to maintain proper oral hygiene.