Is There a Link Between Poor Teeth & Gum Health and Domestic Physical and Verbal Abuse?

Domestic Physical and Verbal Abuse

If you come from an abusive family, general health, including Teeth & Gum Health may be the least of your concerns. According to experts, This may be understandable with so many concerns and emotional battles you have to deal with every day, but the problem can become worse if you will not do anything about it – a statement that goes for both the domestic abuse and poor dental health.

The Journal of the American Dental Association published a study from the New York University linking poor dental health to physical and verbal abuse at home. Dentists who participated in the research believed that toxic behaviors at home take a toll on the lives of the families and their general health. The parents in the study who had bad oral health were in abusive relationships.

More about the Findings

Michael Lorber, a co-author of the study, said that the findings were not surprising. Negative actions and behaviors, such as threatening, insulting, kicking, and hitting can lead to the disruption of a family’s regular routines.

As a result of the physical and emotional turmoil, they tend to sacrifice important things like Teeth & Gum Health. Most people who go through domestic violence suffer from emotional stress eating and tend to neglect brushing their teeth.

The study raised the issue of how aggression has become a common occurrence in many homes in the US. Back in 2005, 90 percent of US households reported aggression between partners, aggression between parent and child, or both.

It was established that the more these family members fight with their children or partners, the more frequent they tend to neglect their mouthwash, floss, and toothbrushes. These findings were formulated from the 135 participants of the research comprised of white heterosexual or married couples whose kids are in grade school and earn about $100,000 annually.

Based on the same research, it was discovered that there are a lot of factors that affect family members’ oral health. One, the immune system becomes weaker in this kind of setup. Second, a person tends to neglect their oral duties when they are frequently involved in fights inside their homes.

They often resort to eating more carbs and sugar while neglecting to care for their teeth properly. Another important factor to be noted is the fact that a family member whose partner is consistently brutal is likely to develop more lesions on their teeth.

The affected people develop more cavities as a result of the fighting and abuse. They also have poor eating habits, which worsen their tooth decay while creating a negative impact on the health of their immune system.

Recommended Interference

Jane Gillette, another co-author of the published study, recommended ways for health practitioners to intervene. The recommended practice to maintain good oral health is to eat healthy foods, brush teeth twice a day, and floss.

If a dentist has patients that belong to an abusive family dynamic, they need to find ways to connect these people with the proper resources in their community. By stepping up to their plate, the dentist could ask the right questions that could help in reaching out to the proper authorities and stop the roots of domestic abuse instead of dismissing the evidence upfront.

Although the study linked the dynamics of a dysfunctional family to poor dental hygiene, it doesn’t necessarily mean that poor Teeth & Gum Health is solely due to toxic family behaviors. Other causes include smoking, certain infections, poor brushing habits, hormonal changes in women and more.

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