Symptoms of Dental Anxiety - Dental anxiety consists of both emotional and physical symptoms. Physically the body tries to cope with the stress or a threatening situation. Emotionally the anxious person has symptoms of fear, panic, anticipation of something bad or dreadful, etc. Also the dental anxiety patients have reported symptoms of palpitations, restlessness, headache, nausea, fatigue, stomach ache, nightmares, sweating etc.
Most people report that the cause for their dental fear is due to past experience of traumatic or painful dental treatment, especially during childhood. These bad experiences have been reported as unpleasant/painful and are influenced by patient’s perception of lack of control and coping. However several positive appointments with the dentist before any traumatic or invasive procedure can act as an obstacle in the development of these perception of lack of coping and control. These fears may be objective i.e. experienced by the person himself/herself, or subjective i.e. someone else’s bad dental experience. Subjective fears are usually due to experiences quoted by parents, older siblings and friends. These are easier to manage than the objective fears. Another important reason for dental anxiety is the attitude of the dentist himself. Uncaring, cold dentists resulted in higher dental anxiety among their patients even in the absence of traumatic experience than those found to be caring and warm.
People with dental anxiety have usually been found to have poorer oral health status than their counterparts without dental anxiety. This has assessed both by the people themselves as well as clinically. They usually have lesser number of filled surfaces and more decayed ones. The dentally anxious people lose teeth earlier than others.
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