Researcher Grace Branjerdporn from the University of Queensland found that having a soulmate is good for your oral health. The research team studied how the dynamics of a romantic relationship can affect oral health.
Through this research, they determined that those who tended to avoid emotional intimacy or were worried that their partner wouldn't be there for them in times of need were more likely to have negative oral health results. These people were not only more likely to skip preventative dental health check-ups, but also more likely to be overly self-conscious about how their teeth looked.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, one could say that a couple who is in a healthy relationship where there is trust between the two, those people would have higher self-worth, more confidence in their smiles, and a higher rating of their teeth, leading to better dental health.
The School of Dentistry collaborated with the University of Queensland, and Dr. Pamela Meredith, Emeritus Professor Jenny Strong, and Professor Pauline Ford co-authored this study.
They built the study on previous research regarding adult attachment theory showing that there have been negative health impacts of attachment insecurity in adult relationships. Some upcoming medical literature reveals links between insecure attachment and decreased seeking of healthcare.
Those who try to distance themselves from a significant other usually have higher levels of self-reliance, are distrusting of others, and avoid seeking support. Because of this, they would be more reluctant to schedule regular preventative dental appointments because it makes them feel like they aren't able to something on their own.
Two hundred sixty-five adults were observed in this study. This the first study to observe associations between attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance along with oral health habits and self-related oral health with a group of healthy people. The study was published in the journal Quality of Life Research.