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
You may also be interested in:
- Dental Fear is Real. Providers Can Help., a visual report that explores the impacts of dental fear and provides guidance and resources for dental providers to help them address dental fear in patients.
- The Connection Between Oral Health and Mental Health, a research brief that explores the link between poor mental health status, dental fear, and delayed dental care.
- State of Oral Health Equity in America 2021, a nationally representative, annual survey of consumer and patient attitudes, experiences, and behaviors on oral health.