Teeth Can Predict Future Mental Health of Children, Says Study

Archaeologists have used teeth since long to reveal information related to lifestyle, cause of death, and ancient civilizations. However, a recent study reported by the Daily Mail suggested that teeth can also give us information about the future. Researchers have found that teeth can predict the susceptibility to mental health disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression, in children.

The lost milk teeth of six-year-olds were scrutinized and it was found that children with thin enamel might be at the risk of developing attention deficient issues. Lead author, Dr. Erin Dunn, a psychiatrist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, said that while a discovery like this could be commonplace for archaeologists, it is extraordinary in psychiatry as it opens the gate to an entirely new outlook for screening mental health disorders, which are on the rise.

Differences in dimension and teeth quality better predictors of mental health

Dr. Dunn stated that it was something they had never seen or thought of before. Her team comprised anthropologists, public health practitioners, and archaeologists and she presented her work at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAs) in Washington.

The researchers asked 37 parents from California to donate the teeth of their 6-year-olds when they fell off. Each tooth was examined using high resolution imaging. This analysis was later extrapolated to study the behavior of kids. Compared to other biomarkers that a psychiatrist would look for usually, teeth quality and differences in dimension were found to be better predictors of mental health.

Scientists across fields need to work together

Dr. Dunn shared that it was important that scientists across fields worked together as it would add more dimensions to a research. She added that scientists usually had a tendency to get isolated and worked with people from the same field. For example, psychiatrists worked only with psychiatrists and psychologists worked only with psychologists. People generally refrained from moving across disciplines or exploring other related facets in a research.

Dr. Dunn stated that this study is a proof of the fact that there is a need for more interdisciplinary science and how more efforts can provide one with the opportunities to view things from different angles which might be completely unexpected.

Warning signs of a mental illness in adolescents and teens

Sometimes, it can be really difficult to tell if a child or teen’s behavior is a normal part of growing up or something else. If the symptoms lasts for weeks or months, it warrants a visit to a healthcare professional. Some of the warning signs of a mental illness are:

Feeling extremely anxious and worried all the time
Throwing tantrums and getting irritable
Having frequent headaches, stomachaches and other unexplained aches
Trouble sleeping with frequent nightmares
Low or no energy
Avoiding friends
Smoking, drinking or using drugs
Engaging in self-harm and other risky behaviors
Losing interest in things used to enjoy previously
Having trouble doing well in school or sports
Road to recovery
Good mental health is important for the overall well-being of children as well as teens, as these are their growing years and they shape the future personality of the child. For many adults experiencing mental health problems, the symptoms were present when they were growing up but were undiagnosed or ignored. It is therefore, important that a mental health disorder is detected early and receives timely diagnosis.

If you know a teen battling a mental health disorder or displaying symptoms of one, ADEONA Healthcare can help. We offer evidence-based mental health treatment programs, customized to suit our teen patients, aged 12-17. Call us on our 24/7 mental health treatment helpline – 866-412-1332 to know more about our teen mental health treatment centers. You can also chat online to a member of our team to gain admission to our center.

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Why People Don’t Seek Mental Health Treatment

Because of the increase of school shootings across the United States, there is an ongoing debate regarding solutions. One of the most looked at causes behind mass shootings are the mental state of the shooters themselves. Most mass shooters have some things in common with each other.

1. Grew up in a fatherless home
2. Was on prescription psychotropic drugs
3. Had stressful events going on in their lives

For category #1, the solutions are obvious. We need to revamp the family law courts in way that there aren’t “winning” parents and “losing” parents. I speak about this topic in-depth in my published report sent to the U.N. titled, “Global Human Trafficking in The Family Law Courts”, which can be found on Amazon.

However, for the sake of this article, I want to focus on the mental health aspect. It is undeniable that our school systems and our healthcare systems are handing out psychotropic drugs like candy! Kids who aren’t paying attention in class are quickly prescribed Ritalin. Depressed teenagers are quickly give Prozac; the situation for adults isn’t much better.

Let’s look at modern rappers like, “Lil Xan”, “Future”, and the recently deceased 20 year old rapper, “Lil Peep”, who died from a Xanax pill laced with Fentanyl. The rapper was seen on Instagram frequently swallowing hand fulls of Xanax pills daily. His young fans who idolized him are most likely following suit.

According to the “business-insider” news site, the United States of America is the world’s leader in prescribing anti-depressant medication. According to one of its articles published, it was found that 12% of all Americans are on some type of drug used to treat mental illness.

There are pros and cons to these numbers. Take South Korea for example, a very developed nation, yet it is ranked #3 for suicides. In the Korean culture, seeing a doctor for depression is a social stigma that shows weakness, especially on part of a male. It isn’t surprising considering that 80% of all suicides in the world are attributed to men. Because mental illness is pretty much ignored in South Korea and among males in general due to society pressures to remain “stoic”, people are killing themselves left and right.

On the other hand, the United States, which is ranked between #30 – #40 (depending on the study), for suicides. So, there is some evidence that perhaps anti-depressant medications can work. Or is it merely cultural? Jamaica often ranks at the very bottom of the list for suicide rates despite being a poor country. Although the poor, the communities are very close knit, and their culture is very cheerful. Perhaps it’s because marijuana is legal to smoke in the country! Who knows!

But, I do know one thing; anti-depressants and other drugs used to treat mental illness carry many side-effects. “Suicidal Thoughts”, is often listed as one of the major side-effects of Prozac. Imagine that! A medication designed for suicidal people which may cause suicidal thoughts! There is no doubt that taking psychotropic drugs alters the brain chemistry, just like alcohol or any other intoxicant.

It is in my opinion that occupational therapy, talk therapy, and community interaction are among the best treatments for depression. However, yet again, there is a draw back to these types of therapies as well.

Anytime an American sees a counselor for depression, suicidal thoughts, or any mental health concern, they are then “logged” and “stereotyped”. Those who frequent a mental health counselor could have such activities used against them in a custody battle or those who seek to purchase a firearm.

Imagine you are battling depression, so you go see a counselor, only to have it used against you in the future. This is why many, myself included, fear the idea of seeing a mental health specialist during times of great stress. Once you visit these people, you are very “labeled” and will be “marked”. If you find yourself facing any future litigation, the courts can uncover your medical records whereas they will say,:

“Ahhh! You went to a mental health counselor several times for depression! You aren’t fit to own a gun or have custody of your kids!”.

In some cases, this may true, whereas in others, it could be an unfair stereotype. When people mentioned that they see a counselor or take anti-depressant medication, people will often sneer at you or perhaps take a step back. We associate mental health concerns with schizophrenia or severe manic depressive types. The fact is, we are all suffering with some form of mental illness.

If you are too happy, the doctors will say you are “manic”. If you are too grumpy, they will say you have “type A” personality. If you are too sad, they will say you are suffering from severe “Depression”. It is much like going to a mechanic. If you talk long enough, they will find something wrong with you!

The truth is simple. Visiting a mental health counselor could result in you losing rights to your child, to your firearms, and your reputation as a person. It is a sad truth. Under our current system, most people d

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