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I suffer from anxiety when I have things in my mouth

Hello Dr Pinder,
I suffer from anxiety when it comes to having things in my mouth. I start to become anxious and feel as though I can’t breath and then panic sets in. I am ok with a regular check-up but when it comes to things like fillings where there’s all this stuff in your mouth i really can’t cope. My dentist is ok and we have a sign which means I want him to stop but treatment takes ages which alsmost makes it worse. I have missed my last two appointments for a filling because I cant face it, but of course the filling is getting worse and is becoming more and more sensitive. I really don’t know what to do, i just find the whole experience horrifying.I can’t carry on like this but I don’t know how to overcome my fear, it just takes over me.

The problem here is learning some strategies to manage the anxiety and panic that has become a conditioned response to the thought of having a filling and the dentist doing something .
I recommend going to the site of Anxiety Uk which has lots of resources to help with this .
I might offer you a mild sedative tablet before the appointment as a tool as well . Sedative tablets such as 5-10 mgm valium act as a relaxant plus having a calming effect on the receptors in the brain . Its impossible to be tense and relaxed at the same time , and also it might be helpful to identify the negative thoughts that you have .
Hope this helps

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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