You are not alone if you experience some form of dental anxiety. This can range from mild stress during routine cleanings to worry that has kept you from the dentist for years. The Canadian Dental Association has noted that upwards of 22% of the population experience dental-related anxiety. The anxiety can stem from the idea of having someone in a personal space or be the fear of the unknown. Unfortunately, if dental anxiety keeps you away from the dentist for an extended time, it can lead to dental problems such as cavities and gum disease.
Dental anxiety includes discomfort, stress, nervousness, fear and panic at the thought of going to the dentist or receiving a dental procedure. Dental anxiety can cause a person to avoid the dentist until there is cavities, pain and even infection.
Difficulty breathing, hyperventilating, hot flashes, increased heart rate, low blood pressure, fainting, withdrawal, shaking and agitation
Each person has their own story and why they may suffer from dental anxiety. Sometimes it can be caused by a past negative dental experience. It can also be caused by the feeling of loss of control brought on by being in the dental chair. Trust issues, as well as fear of needles or dental anesthetics can also cause dental anxiety.
One crucial point to consider if you experience dental anxiety is to take better care of your teeth and mouth at home. This starts with eating a balanced diet, reducing sugar, brushing twice a day and flossing at least once.
In addition, talk to your dentist! They are there to help you and can do what they can to ease your dental anxiety. Your dentist can explain procedures and provide ways to make you feel more comfortable.
Practice meditation, practise mindfulness, look into anxiety medication.