Dental anxiety linked to overall quality of life
New research indicates that being afraid of the dentist could seriously damage your overall quality of life.
A study published in the International Dental Journal revealed that dental anxiety can affect people psychologically and socially, leading to feelings such as shame, poor self-confidence and social isolation.1
Other elements of social wellbeing, such as income and education, were negatively affected by dental anxiety. Those questioned were almost twice as likely to be on a lower income if they feared dental visits. And results showed they were twice as likely to suffer from poor oral health.
More than 10 million adults in the United Kingdom have some level of dental anxiety, with an estimated six million suffering from dental phobia.
Responding to the research, Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive Officer of the Oral Health Foundation said: “About one in five Brits admit to being afraid or anxious about visiting a dentist in Britain.
“This is an incredibly widespread anxiety and is one of the key reasons why people don’t visit the dentist as often as they should. This can put you at risk of significant oral health problems and, as this research shows, other important areas of your life.
“Avoiding a visit to the dentist due to fear puts you at greater risk of missing oral health problems.”
1. Hakeberg, M. and Wide, U. (2018). General and oral health problems among adults with a focus on dentally anxious individuals. International Dental Journal.