I just had a dental appointment. Apparently I should be receiving a medal for that.
And yet, it was no big deal. I made the appointment, I put it in my calendar, my phone reminded me, my dentist’s office reminded me, I got there with nearly four minutes to spare. It was all very laid back, very calm and uneventful.
So why is it that people with ADHD have such poor oral health? In fact who says that people with ADHD have poor oral health?
Well, The Journal of Professional Excellence Dimensions of Dental Hygiene says, “Research shows that people with ADHD are at an increased risk of caries, periodontal conditions, and bruxism associated with poor oral hygiene, increased consumption of sugary foods, and medication use. As such, it is imperative that this patient population receive regular oral health care.”
Yep, that’s right. We get distracted when we go to brush our teeth. We’re on our way and then … we put away the laundry, or sort the mail, or remember that thing we were going to get from the garage …
And if it’s that hard to remember to brush our teeth, how much harder is it to remember to make an appointment? Or to keep it?
And that sugary food thing?
Yes, sugar is a stimulant, and there’s the instant gratification of not only the taste, but that stimulant rush, as short lived and as crash prone as it is. And there are lots of us that use caffeine as out stimulant of choice and so many times the delivery of that comes with a big old helping of sugar and resultant cavities and caries.
And what’s this medication thing?
There you go. Medication. So much of it causes dryness in the mouth. There are several reasons we salivate, and one of the top ones is that our teeth do better in a wet environment. Saliva is salvation for teeth. And stimulant medication as well as some anti depressants can cause dry mouths.
So what’s the outlook?
The outlook is this, either we take into account these negative circumstances that ADHD causes for oral health in our lives, take charge and right these situations so that we enjoy better oral health than the statistics say we’ll have, or we end up being old, easily distracted, and toothless people with regrets and a soft diet.
I’m not looking forward to humus and soup for my so called golden years.
So look, the dental industry is ready for us. Here’s another quote from The Journal of Professional Excellence Dimensions of Dental Hygiene who says, “When faced with patients who are inattentive, restless, and noncompliant with selfcare routines, ADHD should be considered as a causative factor in these behaviors. These patients require compassion, understanding, and creativity in determining effective oral health care strategies.”
So lets give them a chance to help us out. And lets make a date to meet back here in twenty years for corn on the cob and ribs. Okay? Good.