Dental anxiety linked with appearance dissatisfaction

People with severe dental anxiety are more likely to be dissatisfied with their appearance, which may lead to poorer oral health, depression, and further anxiety, according to a doctoral thesis presented on May 29 at the University of Gothenburg in Gothenburg, Sweden.

"People with severe dental anxiety are often trapped in a vicious cycle that begins with avoidance of dental care," stated thesis author Viktor Carlsson, PhD, in a university news article. "The next stage is poorer oral health, often followed by a sense of shame and withdrawal from social intercourse."

Carlsson also found that those with severe dental anxiety also had a greater occurrence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and that cognitive behavioral therapy may help patients cope with their anxiety.

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