Association Between Mental Health and Oral Health Status and Care Utilization

Published 02/10/2022

A new study from CareQuest Institute is the first to evaluate the relationship between oral health and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Based on a nationally representative survey of adults in the US, the study found that adults who reported poor mental health were: 

  • More likely to be facing financial and emotional hardships  
  • More likely to have had COVID-19 
  • Three times more likely to rate their oral health as poor 
  • More likely to have one or more unmet oral health needs 

“Evidence suggests that individuals who have experienced a mental health disorder underutilize dental services,” write the authors. Potential reasons for underutilization include lack of income and health insurance, dental fear, shame, and low self-esteem. Models of care are needed to promote oral health utilization by individuals with mental health problems

Read the article in Frontiers in Oral Health  

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