The more likely someone is to choke or gag as a reflex, the more likely he or she is to disdain seeking dental treatment until absolutely necessary. Delaying dental treatments always increases the severity of gum disease, tooth decay and other dental problems, and the cost of treating those conditions always is higher when people delay seeing their dentists for have their oral health checked and corrected as needed. Unfortunately for many people, their fear of seeing a dentist partly is rooted in their inability to avoid gagging while undergoing even routine dental procedures, such as a basic cleaning, according to a new study entitled “Gagging and Its Associations With Dental Care – Related Fear, Fear of Pain and Beliefs About Treatment.”
Dentists Need to be More Aware of Patient Anxiety
Conducted by researchers from West Virginia University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and dental professionals Cameron L. Randall and Richard J. Crout, the study indicates dentists need to better assess the anxiety of their patients and help to calm them by addressing any fears or apprehensions they might have regarding the pending treatment. The less people gag during the procedure, the more relaxed they are and the easier it is to get the dental treatment done. Any healing also can occur more rapidly when the patient is not gagging throughout the treatment and is more relaxed afterward, easing the tension and stress that otherwise might complicate the healing process.
Suggested Tips for Alleviating Fears
When a patient goes to see the dentist, he or she can help ease nerves and fear by addressing them with the dentist to better learn and trust the procedure that is about to be done. Selecting an appointment time that will allow the patient to recuperate and calm the nerves afterward is an ideal time to have dental work done, suggested researchers. Another good way to alleviate stress and anxiety is to wear headphones and listen to music or replay a recorded television show to help take the mind off the dental work to be done while also helping to relax as much as possible.
Do you feel anxiety before seeing a dentist, and do you have any tricks to calm yourself?