The thought of sitting in the dental chair can elicit strong adverse reactions in children and adult patients. It is believed that 53 per cent of those living in the UK experiences feelings of fear or anxiety at the thought of a dental appointment.

So common is this worrying tendency that there is a term used to recognise this condition – dental phobia. Dental anxiety is defined as an intense level of anxiety experienced by persons at the thought of visiting a dentist City of London. Symptoms of dental anxiety are far-ranging and can include: heart palpitations, elevated blood pressure, rapid breathing, dry mouth and nausea.

When a person experiences these undesirable symptoms, there is an increased risk of them choosing to forego dental care, even if they are in desperate need of it. Neglecting necessary dental care is associated with long-term consequences for not only oral health but for mental wellbeing too. It is for this reason that sufferers of dental anxiety should come to terms with their condition and seek appropriate ways to overcome it.

What causes dental anxiety?

There are many different contributors to dental phobias, the most common of which is a prior bad dental experience in childhood or adulthood. In addition to poor childhood experiences, other causes include outdated methods of dental care, fear of needles and other dental instruments, fear of pain or loss of control as well as the invasiveness of certain treatments and procedures.

Consequences of dental anxiety

The most obvious consequence of failing to keep on top of one’s oral health is the certainty of having to deal with poor oral health issues somewhere along the line. Not having a dental practitioner check on teeth and gum health regularly invariably leads to cavities, gum disease and tooth loss.

When teeth are in a state of decay and no professional dental intervention is sought, teeth eventually fall out. The loss of teeth holds a devastating impact on the look of a smile. Lose one’s smile and one becomes vulnerable to suffering from mental health issues. Plummeting levels of self-confidence can take a heavy toll on the willingness and ability to interact with others.

Dental anxieties can claim another victim – general health. The strong association between dental health and physical health is clear. What happens inside the mouth is also known to impact the rest of the body. Bad oral microorganisms can extend their destructive spread by reaching life-giving organs such as the heart and lungs. A common poor health issue, gum disease, has been strongly linked to cardiovascular complaints and lung infections.

What can be done to treat dental anxiety

Patients suffering from dental anxieties do not need to be bound by their condition as there are a diverse variety of ways to overcome or minimise symptoms.

Once a patient has come to understand their symptoms and their triggers, it is most useful to speak to a dental practitioner about it. Modern dentistry has made available a number of techniques to help lessen these fears and anxieties. The right dental practitioner will do their best to accommodate a patient’s anxious needs and not trivialise such fears. For extremely nervous patients, sedation dentistry can play a significant role in getting them the dental care they need.


Greg Kononenko
Greg Kononenko

My name is Greg Kononenko and I am a full-time online blogger and owner of Dad's Hustle. I'm a dad, and my passion is to help other mums and dads to start their own "hustle" and improve the financial future of their families.

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