Anxiety is a very common mental illness that impacts individuals worldwide. It can reveal itself in many different forms, including fear, apprehension and nervousness. The consequences of anxiety are not just limited to mental well-being. Instead, it also spreads to physical health, including oral health. There is a complicated connection between anxiety and oral health – it often leads to dental phobia, poor oral hygiene habits and avoiding dental care. Let us understand about it in a little more detailed way:

The Impact of Anxiety on Oral Health

1. Anxiety and Dental Phobia – Fear of Dental Procedures

For many people, the thought of visiting a dental clinic causes fear and anxiety, which leads to dental phobia. This phobia is generally a result of negative experiences in the past – probably fear of pain, fear of dental tools, needles, etc. Individuals, in this case, avoid visiting their dentist and do not get any help with oral care, resulting in the deterioration of their oral health.

2. Anxiety Causes Poor Oral Hygiene Habits

For some individuals, anxiety can disrupt their daily routines, which also includes good oral hygiene practices. Those experiencing high levels of anxiety may also neglect brushing and flossing, which leads to a build-up of plaque, cavities and eventually gum disease. Poor oral health over a long time also impacts overall general health, leading to even more anxiety and deterioration of overall health.

3. Anxiety and Delayed Dental Care

Anxiety is also known to cause a sense of avoidance in dental care. The fear of embarrassment (because of poor oral health), judgement from the dental staff, etc., also causes individuals to delay seeking treatment for their dental problems. This causes the dental problems to worsen over time. Delayed dental care doesn’t just make their oral condition worse but also leads to extensive and costly treatment – this, too, tends to worsen their anxiety in terms of dental visits.

4. Stress and its Effects on Oral Health Conditions

One of the common symptoms of anxiety is stress – besides negatively impacting the oral health of the individual, it weakens the immune system of the body and worsens their oral health. Some of the oral conditions that are triggered because of stress include – bruxism (teeth grinding), temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and oral lesions. All these conditions only tend to worsen under heightened stress levels, which further compromises oral health.

The Role of Sedation Dentistry in Overcoming Anxiety

Sedation dentistry offers tailored solutions for dental phobia, ensuring comfort during procedures. Options like oral sedation, IV sedation, nitrous oxide, etc., encourage regular dental visits and hygiene habits. Sedation dentistry eases anxiety and stress in patients and helps them overcome all dental phobias and get the dental care required.

Additionally, sedation dentistry enables safe and efficient treatment for complex dental issues and prevents any future complications in oral health. It effectively manages stress-related oral conditions like bruxism and TMJ disorders by allowing patients to relax and promoting holistic oral health.

Book an Appointment With Healthy Smiles

At Healthy Smiles, we understand the challenges individuals face when dealing with stress and anxiety during dental visits. Our sedation dentistry services provide a safe and comfortable solution, ensuring a relaxing patient experience. With expert care and personalised sedation options, we help alleviate anxiety, allowing patients to receive the dental care they need with ease and confidence.

You can book a dental appointment online or reach out to us using the contact details below.

We are a leading dental clinic serving residents in and around Blackburn, Forest Hill, Box Hill, Nunawading, Burwood & Burwood East.

Healthy Smiles Dental Group

Address: 152 Canterbury Road, Blackburn South, VIC 3130

Phone Number: 03 9877 2035

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