How to Cope with or Combat Dental Anxiety

Dental Anxiety: Many people do not like going to the dentist. For some people having dental work done is on the bottom of their to-do list. Even though many people get a little nervous going to the dentist there are millions of people who suffer from extreme anxiety while in the dental chair. This can be a very serious issue that not only can cause distress on the body but can also cause severe oral health problems. 

Just like it’s important to see your doctor for routine exams, it’s just as important to see your dentist routinely. Dentists do more than just fix problems with the teeth they also work to prevent issues before they start or get worse. Seeing your dentist for routine cleanings and checkups is needed to help prevent decay, gum disease, tooth loss, bone loss, infection, oral cancer, and many other problems like Unpleasant Sweet Taste in Mouth

Avoiding the dentist not only negatively affects your oral health it can also negatively affect your overall health. When a person suffers from poor oral health their mouth can be plagued with bacteria and this can cause inflammation and infection. Infection and bacteria anywhere in the body are very unhealthy. Bacteria usually don’t stay confined to one area. It can spread from the mouth and cause problems with other parts of the body. 

Poor oral health can put a person at risk of different diseases. A person who is suffering from gum disease has a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This occurs because the bacteria that cause the gum disease can enter the bloodstream. Once the bacteria are present in the bloodstream it can begin to build up in the arteries causing them to harden. Blood must be allowed to flow easily to the heart. If a blockage occurs this can damage the arteries and heart and lead to a heart attack or stroke. 

combat dental anxiety

The bacteria in the mouth can also affect the brain. Bacteria that enter the bloodstream can eventually make their way to the brain. This bacteria can cause damage to brain cells and can lead to diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. 

Another part of the body that can be affected by bacteria in the bloodstream is the lungs. Any bacteria in the lungs, whether inhaled or entering the bloodstream, can cause respiratory problems. Some of these problems include pneumonia, bronchitis, or COPD. 

Infection in the mouth can also affect pregnancy or cause infertility. Complications can occur during pregnancy if the mother has poor oral health. The infection and bacteria in the mother’s mouth can cause health problems for the child or cause premature birth.

There are many more health problems that can result from avoiding dental work. This is why it is so important for those who suffer from dental anxiety to find ways to cope with that anxiety. Even though anxiety can be very debilitating there are ways to ease that anxiety enough to be able to see the dentist. 

If you are suffering from dental anxiety the most important thing to do first and foremost is to discuss this anxiety with your dentist and his dental team. Making the dental office aware of your anxiety will help them better serve you. Each dental office works with patients who suffer from dental anxiety and each one will have different ways to help put their patients at ease. 

One suggestion that many dentists give their patients is to bring headphones and listen to music during the appointment. The sound of the dental drill can cause anxiety. Drowning out the outside noises with music can help calm nerves. 

Another way to ease anxiety is for you to feel in control. Being laid back in a chair and not feeling in control of what’s happening can cause feelings of vulnerability. Asking the dentist to watch for signals that you need a break or feel discomfort is a great way to know that your wants and needs are being recognized and met. 

Sedation is also available at many dental offices. The sensation can be administered through IV, inhaled (nitrous oxide), or given orally in pill form. Ask your dentist before your appointment if he or she is able to provide sedation. 

Have a friend or family member accompany you to the appointment. For someone who is suffering from dental anxiety, going to the appointment alone can be very frightening. Having a friend or family member go with you can give you a nice needed distraction. Having someone there to hold your hand and console you during the procedure can also be very comforting. 

There are many different ways to combat dental anxiety. The most important thing to do is to not let that anxiety keep you from properly caring for your teeth. When the teeth and gums are neglected, small dental issues can become big dental problems. This can unfortunately lead to more anxiety. Contact your dental office or Dental Assistants today for more information on how to cope with or combat dental anxiety

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