• Dental Phobia Support

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In need of advice and support. Anxiety/Catastrophizing???

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Babyjess7224

Junior member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
7
Location
Tyne and wear
Hi, just new here as a member but finally built up the courage. Long story but in a nutshell I have extreme dental anxiety, but have a dentist who I trust. I have managed to have some treatment but I am wondering wether my recent pain/aches are psychological. I do have diagnosed Depression/Anxiety. It's now a massive anxiety. Where do I start? Anyone help?
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,234
Hi Babyjess7224:welcome:,
sorry to read about your massive anxiety, but really glad you have a dentist who you trust. Sounds like it was quite a journey. Would you like to share a little bit about what is bothering you? When it comes to dental anxiety, you’re at the right place here. We know how difficult things are.
 
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Babyjess7224

Junior member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
7
Location
Tyne and wear
Thank you for replying. I seem to have never ending problems with my teeth and gums. My dentist is aware of this and does see me, sometimes for reassurance but also for usually emergency treatment if needed. I have so much anxiety with my teeth that any little twinge leads to a panic attack. Currently have twinges and as this is recurring I'm wondering if its linked to mental health/ somatoform disorder. Been googling which doesnt help.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Those are few interesting thoughts you have there. Our bodies and minds work together. If we are worried about our health or about our teeth, we get too aware and too alarmed by sensations and small changes that may not bother us or that would go unnoticed if we were happy and relaxed. Also, if you are struggling with a panic attack after any little twinge, then the question is whether the twinge is the thing that needs to be solved or the way you react to that. In this sense, everything can be linked to mental health. May I ask you what you have been googling and why it didn't help?
 
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Babyjess7224

Junior member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
7
Location
Tyne and wear
I've been googling and trying to diagnose myself thinking that would be a way forward. Ive looked at atypical ordontalgia, neuralgia and TMJ. I see my dentist on Tuesday but am clutching at straws. I agree my usual anxiety is worse than usual. Maybe I need help with both especially as one is triggering the other. I'm feeling a bit stuck with it all.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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I may be asking annoying questions here, certainly understanding a complex health condition, be it a mental or a physical one or a combination, is not easy via short posts. But I was wondering, what would that mean for you to have a diagnosis? What would change then?

If this is about a diagnosis, then a chat with your dentist about how you feel may help. If you trust him enough. Not sure why, but from your posts it sounds a bit foggy, like the communication between you is not the greatest or like you don't trust him, but I could be wrong. When it comes to the mental health part, a counselor may help to shed some light into it. Maybe you already have one you trust?
 
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Babyjess7224

Junior member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
7
Location
Tyne and wear
No worries about asking questions. It is hard with short posts tho I probably miss important parts. I'm still considering what a diagnosis would mean so I'm considering this. Thank you for asking that as it feels better than being stuck. I'm sure there is trust with my dentist or at least I thought there was after years of working on my dental fear??. I'm not having counselling but on a waiting list for a CPN which is even longer due to Covid etc.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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Verified dentist
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Nov 2, 2010
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2,001
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The Hague , Holland
Hi Babyjess7224,

I recommend to be careful with researching via the internet, for two reasons: First, you come across so much information which is not relevant to your situation and for no good reason. Second reason is what we call in psychology “the confirmation bias” which means that when we search for information while having a specific notion or concern, we tend to look for information which confirms our original concerns, and as a result the online research will reflect and echo the whatever you are worried about.

From my experience I can tell you that patients are very bad in diagnosing their dental issue. Patients are very good in knowing when something is wrong in their mouth but not what is the reason for that problem and how best to treat it. Please remember that it takes years for dentists to study how to diagnose correctly. I am not saying you should censure your thoughts and not think about possible diagnoses, that’s impossible, I am simply suggesting to clarify to yourself whether your thought is a description or a diagnose of the dental issue you are facing.

Another food for thought: the mouth is highly innervated area, filled with nerves that can sense the slightest sensations. If the sensation goes away after a few minutes/hours/days, it is probably nothing. If it is a really physical problem than it should stay on the course of time. Sometimes it is better to wait and see how the sensation changes over time.

Hope it helps.
 
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Babyjess7224

Junior member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
7
Location
Tyne and wear
Yes Thank you that does help. I agree with all of the above, in my rational mind. I think the sensations I have in my teeth and gums overwhelmed me with panic and I couldn't help but think this was the end of the world! I am aware that I catastrophe too but I feel stuck and unable to move forward, even knowing I do this. I have an appointment arranged with my dentist and I know she will be the best one to diagnose there. Googling isn't helpful but I have wondered if there was always something more to my problems. I am hoping that I can mention it as it feels very relevant. I feel as if I'm on a never ending journey and not managing it very well with my dental problems triggering my panic attacks and vice versa. Thank you for being rational as I'm struggling to do that.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
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Nov 2, 2010
Messages
2,001
Location
The Hague , Holland
You sound like a rational person who is struggling with irrational issues :)
Reaching a good diagnose is ideal but not a must, sometime it is possible to improve the quality of life without having a diagnose. The worst thing is having a wrong diagnose.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Enarete

Enarete

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Please remember that it takes years for dentists to study how to diagnose correctly.

This is a good point and I would like to add the same note when it comes to mental health issues. Those too are complex and it takes several sessions for a counselor to find a rough diagnosis.

Glad that you're on a waiting list for counseling.. I wished there would be a quicker and easier way to get help. If your dentist thinks there is no "real" reason for your dental pain, then a counselor may bring you further. When it comes to anxiety, they certainly can help.

Hope you will be able to find your answers soon and most importantly be able to fix your pain
 

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