Monday, March 23, 2009

Mental health and teeth

People with long-term mental-health problems often have worse teeth than the rest of the population. They go to the dentist less often and have more missing teeth than other people. Researchers from the University of Malmo, in Sweden, studied the dental health of 113 people who were receiving outpatient care for mental-health problems. They found higher frequencies of missing teeth in people who had been prescribed more than two antipsychotics. Poor oral hygiene was found in 41% of the participants and dental treatment of some kind was needed by 70%. 69% of the sample experienced a dry mouth which is a common side effect of antipsychotic drugs. Oral hygiene was found to be more neglected among men, and in people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Persson, K. ... [et al] - Monitoring oral health and dental attendance in an outpatient psychiatric population Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing April 2009, 16(3), 263-271

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