New Study Suggests Genetics Could Play a Role in Dental Anxiety

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A new study has suggested that a fear of the dentist could be down to genetics.

Researchers from West Virginia University discovered that dental anxiety could be linked to genes you inherit from your parents. There also appears to be a link between genes related to a fear of pain and anxiety about going to the dentist.

Cameron Randall, from the research team, explained that the findings suggest we may be predisposed to dental fear. Previously, most people linked dental anxiety to negative experiences in the past or a fear of needing treatment. Now, it appears that an increased susceptibility to dental fear may be in our genes.

The findings of the study will be published in the Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology journal.

Dental anxiety affects up to 25 percent of the population in the UK and ranges from mild to severe. In the most serious cases, dental patients avoid going to their local practice for months, even years, on end, putting their dental and general health at risk.

Mr Randall believes that the new information could help to identify more effective ways of helping patients overcome anxiety and feel more comfortable when they go to the dentist.

Nowadays, dentists are more aware of dental fear than ever before and there is a range of treatments and therapies on offer to try and make the experience less daunting. Examples include treatment under sedation and painless injections.

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