Q I had such bad experiences at the dentist as a child and now have a real phobia of going to get my teeth checked. I get sweaty and hot and have anxiety every time I go. I know I need to get checked – what can I do?
A Specific phobias like this are distressing and more common than you think, so don’t feel alone.
Your mind and body have learned to react in an extreme way to a certain situation because of the past.
You will often feel palpitations, your heart beating fast, sweaty hands and dry mouth as well as a feeling of dread and sickness.
CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) canhelp and aims to reprogram the way you think about certain situations and break the cycle between these thoughts and your feelings or behaviour.
You may need several sessions of CBT or your doctor could recommend a short acting anti-anxiety tablet only to use when you visit the dentist. Make sure you trust and tell your dentist as this will help too.
Dr Radha Modgil
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