People with severe mental illnesses are over three times more likely than the general population to lose their teeth because of poor oral health.
The research, published in the September issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, shows that psychiatric patients haven’t shared in recent improvements in dental health.
the study authors have called for free dental care for people with severe mental illness.
Researchers analysed 14 studies into the oral health of people with severe mental illness published over the past 20 years. All the psychiatric patients in the studies (2784) had been diagnosed with severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, dementia, bipolar disorder or other affective disorders.
The review found that the psychiatric patients were 3.4 times more likely to have lost all their teeth. They were also 6.2 times more likely to have decayed, filled or missing teeth.
Lead researcher Professor Steve Kisely said a combination of factors was to blame.
Thanks to the British Journal of Psychiatry for this article