What are the Symptoms of Dental Anxiety? How Common is it to have Dental Anxiety?

You’re not alone if you’re a bit nervous about visiting the dentist. Many people don’t like having someone poke around in their mouths. Sometimes, the dental procedures can be too long, or they aren’t fun. 

While being nervous about visiting the dentist is pretty standard, some people experience dental anxiety. Read on to determine whether you’re experiencing dental anxiety or just nerves. 

What is Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety refers to extreme fear or nervousness when considering going to the dentist for any dental procedure or preventive care. People with dental anxiety experience stress, panic, and fear related to dental settings. 

Many people also know dental anxiety as dental phobia. It may be triggered by seeing and feeling needles, drills, or even the thought of going for a dental appointment. People who had bad past experiences, especially from childhood, develop dental anxiety later in life. 

Symptoms of Dental Anxiety 

The following are some symptoms of dental anxiety: 

  • Sweating
  • Racing heartbeat or heart palpitations
  • Visible distress
  • Crying
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fainting
  • Anger and aggression
  • Panic attacks
  • Withdrawal
  • A constant, nagging worry
  • Racing thoughts
  • The nervousness that gets worse over time
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Trouble sleeping the night before the appointment

Causes of Dental Anxiety?

People with dental phobia or dental anxiety experience irrational fear when they consider visiting the dentist. So, they try to avoid going to the dentist as much as possible. Here are some of the causes of dental anxiety: 

  1. Fear of pain during a dental appointment or dental procedure  
  2. Loss of personal space
  3. Feeling embarrassed or self-conscious about oral hygiene
  4. Fear of needles and injections or fear of injection not working
  5. Feelings of helplessness or loss of control
  6. You feel vulnerable when sitting in the dental chair

Along with these causes, a previous history of head or neck trauma, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia can also increase the risk of an individual experiencing dental anxiety. 

How Common is Dental Anxiety in Australia? 

A visit to your dentist can be a somewhat unpleasant experience for most people in Australia. However, 1 in 7 Australian adults experience high dental anxiety. It makes dental anxiety one of the most common anxiety disorders in Australia. 

If you have dental anxiety, you’ll do more harm than good by not going to the dentist. Without routine dental check-ups, you’re more likely to need complex dental procedures and treatments like root canal treatment, tooth extraction, etc. 

Always remember that avoiding dental appointments will negatively impact your oral health in the long run. So, it’s best to deal with your anxiety on time and visit your dentist to ensure your oral health is not affected.

Dealing with Dental Anxiety 

It’s not easy for people with dental anxiety to “get over it.” You can try bringing your loved ones to visit the dentist as their presence will ease your nerves. But if you have extreme dental anxiety, you’ll need a lot of work, effort, and time to overcome it. Apart from a therapist, a skilled and caring dentist can help you a lot. 

Dentist at Coorparoo has a team of highly professional yet friendly dentists in Queensland, Australia. Our experts ensure you’re comfortable during the appointment and address your worries. You can contact us anytime, book an appointment, and talk to your dentist about your anxiety. After that, your dentist will recommend solutions like sleep dentistry.

Give us a call today!

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