Lingering Dental Anxiety



Junior member
Nov 24, 2016
Hello all! I am a new forum member but have been using this site for a few years now. It has been very helpful for me :)

I'm 17 and have had pretty severe dental anxiety for as long as I can remember. I will share a detailed account of my history with this anxiety in the Journal section of the forum, if you're interested in knowing more about why I'm so afraid of anything teeth-related.

Anyways, a few years ago I began to obsess over keeping my teeth clean. I brush, floss, and use alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash religiously. I've even made my gums sore from flossing too hard, which I really need to be careful about. I take very, very good care of my teeth, but I still obsess over every minor toothache I get and tend to worry about things for no reason whatsoever, when there is no toothache at all. I have always had a very bad habit of worrying to the point where I even give myself a psychological toothache. Just looking at pictures of teeth can make mine hurt. I really don't know why I get still get so anxious to this day. I don't scream and cry anymore like I used to, but I still get extremely nervous every time I must take a trip to the dentist. But again, I don't understand what I'm so worried about. I don't eat a lot of sugary foods and I very rarely drink soda. Dentists are always impressed by how good my teeth are. I haven't had any major dental work besides my wisdom teeth removal last year (I was under IV sedation and the experience was excellent) and I know that no procedure should be unbearably painful anyway. Why won't this anxiety go away?? I do have a general mistrust of dentists, as my mom has had multiple bad experiences with them, which could be contributing to my anxiety as well. I know there are plenty of caring dentists with good intentions, but I'm also afraid there are a lot of them that just want your money and will needlessly butcher your teeth to get it. Maybe I'm overly paranoid but that's how I see it. I also have a fear of needles, so the administration of novocaine freaks me out almost as much as dental work itself.

I had two amalgam fillings done in my bottom back molars when I was about 7. These are the only cavities I've ever had. I'm currently very worried about these fillings and are afraid they will need to replaced soon. However, they are not causing me any problems and are only 10-11 years old, and I've heard of them lasting much longer than that. Multiple dentists and even an oral surgeon have told me in recent years that they look completely fine and should stay that way as long as I continue to take good care of them. There's an occasional dull pain in one of them at the moment but I believe it's just psychological, considering that I starting stressing over them out-of-the-blue just a few days ago. Before then I hadn't even thought about them in months and they never hurt. Besides, what's the big deal if they do need to be replaced? I know the answer: nothing! I'd much rather get a filling replaced then wait around and need a crown or root canal later. I'm worrying myself sick over this and I don't understand why! I know that my fillings are probably totally fine and won't need to be replaced for many more years but the lingering fear is still there. With my good genetics and excellent hygiene, logically my teeth should never require any major work. I know my anxiety is completely irrational and I'm tired of it making me miserable. I haven't had a bad dental experience in years so you would think I would have grown out of this by now. Nope! I actually haven't gone to the dentist in almost a year due to insurance, but am planning to go in January. I'm gonna stress about it but hopefully I will have some peace of mind after that visit.

If you have any advice to calm me, please give it. I feel so silly for being so worked up over nothing but I really can't help it. I need moral support! Thank you for reading and I hope some can relate and/or help me out!
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Well-known member
Nov 8, 2016
Hi there! I just came to say I know EXACTLY how you feel there. I feel and am dealing with pretty much everything youve mentioned. :( You are not alone in this whatsoever.:XXLhug:
Teeth anxiety sucks lemme tell you. Its pretty much destoryed me and it doesn't help that i have anxiety in general and the people im surrounded with don't really give a hoot about their teeth either.

I tend to worry myself sick over things in my mouth that arent even there. If i get even the most minor pain I freak out. My anxiety is never quelled at least until I get reassurance from the dentist or go to one for a cleaning to make sure Im okay. Im 4 years older then you and I swear dude I feel you.

I recently just got my wisdom teeth out and boy has this been quite an expierence for me lol. I also had IV but the entire time leading up to it I was crying my eyes out cuz I was scared then a second later I woke up; all done! And it's pretty much been hell for me. I had some infections thanks to two that were realllly impacted before getting them out so I had these strange mouth sores. (that are finally gone -_-) And having teeth anxiety + with this has just been awful. Having holes in my mouth along with my jaw and mouth and teeth being sore has sent my anxiety just flaring up the roofs. :( Im very paranoid to eat anything. OR anything solid for that matter. its going to mark my second week on friday and Im going to hope the swelling and soreness will be gone by then. Ive lost alot of weight due to being so fearful so I really needa get some good food in my system lol. (sorry i kinda rambled there.)

My anxiety for my teeth didn't begin till last year after I had some fillings done. Then i became really religious lol. I was also told my enamel was weak so that really didn't help. I have a constant fear of my fillings breaking, its only been a year and I shouldn't worry and overstress the way I do but I just can't help it. It sort of stemmed as well from a bad filling I got done a few yrs back in high school. This one denitst of mine did a filling and I think a year later it broke causing that tooth to get a really bad cavity. I got it filled of course last year but its kind of been sensitive to cold ever since. :( So i kinda tend to not eat on that side since Im so paranoid. ^^; It was possible It would have needed a root canal but my denitst just went with a filling. But Im still scared of eating on that side so its pretty much been wash and rinse in my head that eating on that side is a no no. Even tho there is probably nothing wrong and it never hurts when I eat on it, im just too scared. If there is something wrong I just hope it needs to be redone or my bite just needs to be fixed a little. Sometimes a filling can be too high.

I follow the same routine you do, I floss, I brush, and use mouthwash. Everyday. Twice a day. Three times depending on if I eat three times a day anyways. Although it really just depends when I eat. I tend to floss twice a day if I eat a big meal. Cept ima add two more things to that list with that being said I tend to rinse my mouth with water after all my meals and chew sugarfree gum afterwords. (If i go out to eat I tend to just chew some gum if there isnt any water) I also NEVER drink without a straw, unless its for milk and water. Things that help soothe me mainly is chewing the gum or rinsing with water. (I just use plain water no salt water or anything fancy lol) I dont why but it makes me feel alot better knowing that my mouth isnt full of bacteria if I have rinsed the stuff away with water. (At least until i brush my teeth) Water is pretty much the only thing that really calms me down. I always make sure to have some on me in case Ill be drinking or eating anything sweet/salty/bad for you. Plus it washes away bacteria in your mouth. :) So its really good and handy to have some of that on you.
After last year I pretty much changed my diet drastically though. While it has lessed overtime I tend to just now eat my junk food around my meal time. I only have pop when Im out and about and I refuse to drink any bottle pops without a straw (and some water lmao). Another thing that may lessen your anxiety is throughout the day, even if you cant brush, and your on/off eating, rinsing your mouth with water can help greatly. :) Just brush when you get home or can. Sometimes if my anxiety isn't up my butt Ill snack on/off throughout the day and be sure to rinse my mouth and wait 30 mins to eat again or something lol. Its very rare I do that I just tend to wait until dinner time.

I tend to make myself go crazy by getting paranoid about a lot of things, sometimes I even make my head think theres pain or there's something wrong with me its so very awful having teeth anxiety just really sucks. :/ So I get the whole psyhoclogical thing and it kind of makes me feel better knowing that there's someone near my age level that is just like me. : ) I also know how you feel about novacine. Personally it freaks me out as well I dont like the feeling of being numb. When I had to get some fillings done last year my dentist kinda went overboard and i felt part of my throat go numb for a second and I nearly bursted into tears.

So i hope this makes you feel a little bit better <3 I too plan to see a dentist so I can get some tartar off my teeth. (for a few weeks I had issues brushing bc of mouth sores :') thnx wisdom teeth) It makes me anxious letting it stay on but I wanted to wait until my mouth wasn't as sore to get a cleaning done. So im gonna try and shoot for going next week hopefully.
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