Fear of being unable to swallow with dental dam

C

CHF

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Joined
Jan 7, 2022
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4
Location
Louisiana
Strangely, my greatest anxiety stems from the inability to actually swallow once the mouth bridge is placed in my mouth to keep it open.
One of those was used when I had to get a crown on a jaw tooth ( the same tooth that is the problem now)
and I couldn’t swallow. I had to move the bridge out of the way to swallow.
If I can’t move the bridge and I can’t swallow, I feel myself begin to panic!
I don’t know how normal or abnormal this reaction is but I’m very concerned about what’s going to happen.
I have a consultation scheduled with the endodontist. I’ve been told they don’t have nitrous oxide (laughing gas) but do use oral sedation if I am a candidate for it. I was told it makes one feel somewhat ‘loopy’, relaxed, sleepy, and may even possibly have somewhat of a amnesia affect.

Any thoughts or information on my plight?
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Hi @CHF

I think it's a normal reaction which many people get to a certain extent. Your rational mind probably agrees that not swallowing during dental treatment won't cause any ill effects, but the feeling still sends you into a panic. Perhaps it's a very basic instinct for humans to want to protect themselves against the possibility of drowning, and the ability to swallow is essential to that. Or sometimes, past experiences can contribute to a fear of not being able to swallow.

Sedation can certainly help in lots of different scenarios by making you more relaxed and less panicky.

Do you get the feeling of panic only if water is pooling in your throat, or do you get it regardless? We do have some info on this page that might be useful:


The most important thing is that you share your fear with your dental team (and especially the endodontist themselves), and together come up with a solution that works for you 🙂. The consultation is an ideal opportunity to see if they are understanding and open to accommodating your needs.
 
C

CHF

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4
Location
Louisiana
@letsconnect I haven’t actually felt the sensation of not being able to swallow due to any liquid/saliva/water pooling in my throat.
It seems to be the actual extreme need yet inability to swallow due to the bridge holding my mouth open. It causes me to suddenly feel panicked.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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I've heard some people recommend learning to swallow with your mouth open (personally, I find that quite difficult, although it's a bit easier when your mouth/throat isn't dry). When you're referring to an extreme need to swallow, do you mean a psychological need or a physiological need? If it's the latter, what does the swallowing accomplish?

I would imagine that some sort of sedation would probably work quite nicely for this problem, whatever the cause 🙂
 
C

CHF

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Joined
Jan 7, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Louisiana
I feel like it’s more psychological but could be a little physiological.
I’m hoping the endodontist can shed more light on this issue and give me some hope about being sedated.
 
C

CHF

Junior member
Joined
Jan 7, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Louisiana
Thank you for talking to me about this issue. It helps.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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I wish I could be of more help 🙂. Hope this is ok, but I've renamed the title of the thread, so others with personal experience of this issue are more likely to read it and chime in!
 
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