Dental Anxiety Linked with More Cavities and Missing Teeth

Damaged tooth with cavity dental caries decay

A new study published in the British Dental Journal shows that people with dental anxiety are more likely to have cavities and more likely to have missing teeth. These people also experience a reduced quality of life-related to their poor oral health.

To try to help these people, we need a good way to control dental anxiety that is suitable for everyday use, doesn’t rely on drugs, and doesn’t come with serious side effects. Fortunately, that’s exactly what NuCalm is.

Dental Anxiety and Dental Health

Researchers looked at a large survey of oral health in the UK, the Adult Dental Health Survey (ADHS) from 2009. They analyzed the survey results to determine whether dental anxiety was linked to any of the indicators of dental health, including:

  • Incidence of cavities
  • Incidence of missing teeth
  • Pulp exposure ulceration fistula abscess (PUFA) score
  • Periodontal (gum) health
  • Quality of life

Most of these measures are fairly straightforward, but it’s likely you’ve never heard of the PUFA score before. The pulp is the interior of the tooth, which should be covered by two layers of tooth. When it gets exposed, the tooth can become highly sensitive, and it can get infected. Ulceration is a measure of how sharp fragments of the tooth are causing damage to soft tissues such as the cheeks, gums, or tongue. Fistula describes a tube that runs from an infected tooth that is draining pus. Abscess refers to an infected tooth or gum area.

Analyzing the results of the survey, researchers found that people with dental anxiety were more likely to have cavities and more likely to have missing teeth. They were also more likely to have a poor quality of life that is related to their oral health.

How Dental Anxiety Leads to Poor Oral Health

There are two main ways that dental anxiety leads to poor oral health. First, it keeps people from getting preventive dental care. This makes them more likely to have oral health problems in the first place. It also means they’re more likely to have serious oral health problems because they aren’t getting checkups that can detect the problem early so it can be fixed.

The other reason why people have poor oral health is that they don’t pick the best treatment for them. Instead, they tend to pick the treatment that causes the least amount of trouble and requires the fewest visits. So, instead of getting gum disease treated or getting a root canal for an infected tooth, they’re more likely to just have the tooth pulled. This is why they’re more likely to have missing teeth, but not necessarily have worse gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss.

An Optimal Approach to Dental Anxiety

To help people truly overcome their dental anxiety, we need an anxiety treatment that doesn’t just make it possible for people to make their dental appointments. We need one that makes people actually choose to make their dental appointments. That means we need an approach to dental anxiety that leads to a positive dental experience that even people with anxiety can see the benefit of.

Drug-related approaches to anxiety simply overcome a person’s resistance to dental treatment. And they often create a lacuna in memory–a gap that can actually increase future anxiety. People don’t remember what happened and that gives them something to worry about.

NuCalm is this ideal approach. With NuCalm, people don’t get the knocked-out feeling they get from drugs. They feel a natural, relaxed sensation. They don’t have the same sense of lost time. Time may go quickly, but it’s still experienced and you don’t have the same sensation of there being something missing. And then there are the energizing benefits of NuCalm that make the experience enjoyable.

NuCalm makes it possible for people with anxiety to actually choose dental treatment and feel comfortable in the choice. They are therefore freer to get both preventive care and restorative care that requires more dental visits.

If you are a person with dental anxiety and are looking for an advanced approach to overcoming your anxiety, please contact a local NuCalm provider.