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How to deal with phobia of letting health professionals look in your mouth?

  • Thread starter SolitudeIsBliss
  • Start date


Well-known member
Nov 14, 2017
Hi all,

I'm not sure if anyone remembers me as I haven't posted in a long while.

I was wondering if anyone could relate or offer any advice or thoughts on something. I realise that I'm avoiding getting non teeth related health issues that involve my mouth looked at because of the embarrassment related to my teeth.

I'm currently having some issues that probably will lead to a referral to an ENT if it doesn't resolve soon. I'm worried that the ENT, on either inspecting my throat/mouth or via the CT/MRI scan is going to lecture me about the state of my teeth.
Hi SolitudeIsBliss,

welcome back. How have you been doing? :)
If you feel embarassed about your teeth and at the same time not able to change it at the moment, I see how any professional who has to take a look in your mouth represents a reminder and a possible trigger. A responsible health care professional would probably want to check waters gently, because they have to if they really care. So what would be the solution? There is that one obvious solution that you have been striving for since you came here and that would be to move on with your dental fear and start to tackle that. Everything else will solve themselves then. With that being said, I feel like this is not an option at the moment and you need to fix the possible ENT problem now, which is ok. In that case, maybe a small lie may come handy. You could either wait for them to bring it up and say you are looking for a dentist right now / tackling it right now or you could bring it up yourself before they look, letting them know that you know this is an issue and you are working on it.
How does that sound?

All the best wishes
I think that Enarete's advice to explain your situation first is the best one. What I did once, when I had a sinus infection and the doctor wanted to look at the back of my throat though, was to open my mouth as wide as possible, but still kept my upper lip over my top teeth. Your tongue will cover most of the lower teeth and if you think about it, they'll be looking forward and down in order to see your throat and that's where their flashlight will be shining, NOT on your teeth. They probably won't see your top teeth at all, and your tongue will hide most issues on the lower. Also, they will usually be really fixated on looking at your throat because most people start to gag quite quickly (with the tongue depressor), so they know to focus strictly on what they want to see, rather than what might be on the periphery.
Great to see you, SolitudeIsBliss - :welcome: back! As LittleLynnie has said, most ENTs are not at all focused on teeth (unless your symptoms sound like a tooth abscess, in which case they might want to rule that out as a differential diagnosis).

Regardless, there should be no "lecture". It's not as if dental treatment is compulsory, and it's not exactly cheap either... you wouldn't get told off at your local garage for driving an old banger, rather than a sparkling new luxury car :).

I suppose if - against all odds - they did raise it, you could always tell them about your woeful experiences with unsympathetic oral surgeons and ask them if they can recommend anyone? throw the ball back into their court!