How Can I Get Over My Dental Anxiety and Sensitive Gag Reflex?
16th May 2016

Years ago I had a badly fitted bridge, which caused numerous problems after visiting many dentists, none of which helped very much. I was having an impression taken and the dentist sprayed something in my throat to stop me balking as I have a very sensitive palette. This made me feel like I was choking, as some of the mixture went into my throat and started to set and I had to physically pull it out. I was terrified, never been back to the dentist since. For a couple of years I kept the bridge in but now what's left of my teeth are so decayed I'm constantly getting infections and my quality of life has gone downhill, as I've lost all confidence. I'm even on verge of losing my job as I work with the public and eating is a nightmare but I don't know what to do as I balk even just to open my mouth for the dentist to look in - what can I do?

A. I'm so sorry you have found yourself in this dilemma . Of course you have to go to the dentist to at the very least find out what your options are. It does sound like you may have to have some teeth out. The dentist may be able to refer you to the local community Special Needs Service, or a Special Care Department at a dental hospital, it depends where you live. The gagging problem with just getting your teeth just looked at is a psychological problem, although for dental work and impressions some people have sensitive palates and it sets off a cycle of panic and just what you describe. Two websites to check out are for Anxiety UK, which has lots of resources and www.dentalfearcentral.org.  Hope this helps, Jenny.

Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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