Portrait of a man and woman training together at the gym. Personal trainers doing sit-ups at fitness room.

Although sedation dentists might want you to think that you need to get knocked out to overcome your dental anxiety, the truth is that there are many different ways to address your dental anxiety. A new study shows that exercise is one of them. And although exercise may not be a good complement to sedation dentistry, exercise and NuCalm can work wonderfully together to achieve relaxation at the dentist’s office.

The Impact of Exercise on Dental Anxiety

For this small study, researchers used 30 subjects who had fairly high levels of dental anxiety, who were undergoing two minor dental interventions over the course of a week. They were randomly assigned to either low intensity exercise (defined as achieving 20% VO2 max, a measure of how hard you breathe during a workout) or moderate intensity exercise (70% VO2 max) before seeing the dentist. Anxiety was measured before, during, and after treatment using two different methods. People were asked to point out their level of anxiety on the visual analogue scale (VAS), and researchers took saliva samples to measure the presence of the stress hormone cortisol.

Both testing methods showed that people who engaged in moderate exercise had significantly lower levels of stress. Before treatment, people who did moderate exercise reported a 27% lower stress level than those who did low intensity exercise. It remained 24% lower during treatment, and dropped to 50% lower immediately after treatment. Statistical analysis showed that all these differences were significant, despite the small sample size.

Exercise and NuCalm: a Winning Combination

If you are looking to control serious dental anxiety without drugs, it may help you to combine multiple treatments if this can be done safely. And with exercise and NuCalm, it isn’t just safe to combine the two, it’s a great benefit!

Exercise is a great way to control dental anxiety because it’s a good thing to be doing anyway. You’ll see a number of benefits if you start adding exercise to your daily routine. You won’t only see a decrease in anxiety and/or depression, you’re likely to get better sleep. That’s partly because you will physically need the rest more, you’ll also help to reset your circadian clock if you exercise outside.

Exercise also stimulates the release of endorphins, which not only reduce anxiety, they can reduce pain as well.

Exercise is a way to control your sympathetic nervous system. The effects of exercise, therefore, dovetail nicely with those of NuCalm. NuCalm is an elegant system for controlling your sympathetic nervous system so you can avoid anxiety, fear, and pain at the dentist. It also helps regulate your circadian clock, working with exercise to help improve your sleep.

If you are looking for a way to control your dental anxiety without drugs, starting an exercise routine is a great start. For more help, please contact a local Nucalm Dentist.