The Fear of Choking at the Dentist

One of the many reasons for which people avoid going to the dentist even for basic dental treatments is the fear of choking.

Whether this fear springs from somewhere in the past when they felt they nearly choked at the dentist, or because every time they sit in the chair they feel they cannot swallow properly…fear of choking is a leading problem on the huge list of dental phobias and dental anxiety causes.

Typically, when extensive dental treatment is needed, you need to keep your mouth open for a lengthier time.

During this time, your mouth gets filled consistently with saliva, and it seems that the dentist does not use the saliva ejector too often. This problem can be solved extremely easily. You just need to talk to your dentist before the treatment and ask him to place the saliva ejector to the corner of your mouth.

This way, every single time you feel that your mouth is filled with saliva/water you can move a little the ejector to suction liquids. You need to do this carefully and with gentle motions, not to disturb the working hand of the dentist in your mouth.

Communication is the key to everything, and dentists do encounter every single day anxious and phobic patients, so they will understand your requirement.

Besides having that drowning/choking sensation, you can also feel a gag especially when you feel water running down your open throat during a dental filling is performed.

What you can do in such cases is try to concentrate on breathing mainly through your nose, rather than the mouth. It is quite difficult, giving your throat is open, but if you try to calm down yourself and breathe consistently and rhythmically, there will be no problems.

Anxious patients also feel they cannot swallow during their dental treatment. Having your mouth open, swallowing is quite complicated, but dentists have a good tip for this problem too.

Before going to the dentist, try practicing at home swallowing while your mouth is open. You will practice this way a good swallowing reflex.

Do not swallow the water, just try swallowing “dry”, while keeping the water in your mouth (a tiny amount of water placed under your tongue will suffice). This practice simulates perfectly what happens during an extensive dental treatment (during dental drilling, filling, etc.).