Dental phobia and tooth decay due to anxiety is all too common. We’ve written before about how dental anxiety can affect people. Dental phobia is when this anxiety about visiting the dentist is so bad that it impacts on your health and wellbeing.
Research published this year (2017) showed that people with dental phobia are more likely to suffer from dental problems.
The gang at King’s College London found that patients with a phobia of the dentist were more likely to have tooth decay or missing teeth. They didn’t try to work out why this was. It could be that people who get more decay are more likely to develop a fear of the dentist. Or it could be that dental phobics allow teeth problems to grow for longer before getting help.
It’s probably a combination of lots of reasons and each individual will be different.
This is not a criticism of anyone with a phobia of the dentist. We want to help people who suffer with anxiety.
The point is that if you avoid the dentist, you are vulnerable to dental disease. Dental disease can be prevented so PREVENT IT. Prevention is better than cure, especially if you have a phobia of the cure.
You need a plan. How will you protect your gums? How will you prevent holes in your teeth?
You need to be brushing your teeth with a manual or electric toothbrush at least twice a day for at least two minutes. Either are fine but an electric brush makes life easier. You need to be using a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride protects your teeth against the bacteria that cause decay. After brushing, spit but do not rinse with water. This means the fluoride stays in your mouth and continues to protect your teeth.
There are lots of other things to consider like floss and mouthwash so read our article and please, please, please… take control of your dental health!
If you have a fear of the dentist, you must do everything you can to avoid them. Forget the old excuses. Your teeth don’t have to be weak. If you’ve had problems with your teeth in the past, it doesn’t mean that you have to carry on with problems. Control your future and control the health of your teeth.