Dentists can end toothless nightmares

A dental health charity has urged the public to pay heed to your dreams by looking after your teeth.

The most common anxiety dreams we ever have involve the disturbing experience of teeth falling out, or of having crooked, rotting or crumbling teeth, the significance of dreams about tooth loss has been subject to centuries of study and interpretation.

Most of our dental nightmares are frequently associated with personal anxieties or subconscious concerns.

Menopausal women, for example, have been found to dream frequently about tooth loss, and such dreams have also been associated with financial worries.

Our oral health is a vital indicator of our overall well-being, so for those who’ve experienced nightmares about missing molars, the British Dental Health Foundation urges the UK public not to ignore their fears or phobias about the dentist’s chair.

The National Dental Helpline (0845 063 1188) deal with calls from people suffering from dental phobias, and can provide confidential advice and information. A free leaflet entitled ‘My Fear of the Dentist’ is also available.

Foundation chief executive, Dr. Nigel Carter, said: “Don’t ignore any warning signs or concerns you have about your teeth – make an appointment to visit your dentist as soon as possible when signs of gum disease such as loose teeth or regular infections are present.

‘It’s important that people learn to overcome their fears. A visit to the dentist could save their life. Fear of the dentist can have tragic consequences for individuals, but their experience is unnecessary.’

During their ‘Teeth4Life’ campaign, set to run between 16 May and 16 June this year, the Foundation will emphasise the importance of not simply retaining teeth for life but that looking after your teeth hugely influences the quality of your life.

Observing the campaign’s other positive oral health messages of undertaking regular dental visits, maintaining a twice-daily teeth brushing routine with fluoride toothpaste and cutting down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks can also make a positive difference.

Dr Carter added: ‘Healthy teeth play an important role in helping to convey an attractive image in our modern society, where appearance and personal presentation is often important.

‘All dentists now have training to help them deal with patients’ fears, and there are many practices up and down the country which specialise in helping patients with this problem. During a check–up, a dentist is able to identify many conditions including mouth cancer, which kills one person every five hours in the UK.’

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