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Oral Health Prev Dent 13 (2015), No. 2     23. Apr. 2015
Oral Health Prev Dent 13 (2015), No. 2  (23.04.2015)

Page 123-128, doi:10.3290/j.ohpd.a32345, PubMed:25019108


Demographic Profile, Plaque Index and DMFT Scores of Young Individuals with Dental Anxiety and Exaggerated Gag Reflex
Almoznino, Galit / Zini, Avraham / Aframian, Doron J. / Kaufman, Eliezer / Lvovsky, Alex / Hadad, Avraham / Levin, Liran
Purpose: To characterise demographic and clinical parameters among individuals with dental anxiety and exaggerated gag reflex compared to a control group and to analyse the associations between the various parameters.
Materials and Methods: Sixty-eight patients with dental anxiety and 54 patients with exaggerated gag reflex were compared to a control group of 200 individuals undergoing dental treatment. The collected data included demographic parameters, health status, smoking habits, Decayed, Missing and Filled Teeth (DMFT) and plaque index (PI) scores.
Results: PI was significantly higher among patients with exaggerated gag reflex (1.91 ± 0.95) and dental anxiety patients (1.82 ± 0.89) compared to the control group (1.27 ± 0.74; P < 0.001). DMFT was significantly higher among patients with dental anxiety (13.64 ± 7.57) compared to patients with exaggerated gag reflex (10.52 ± 5.42; P = 0.033), and between both groups compared to the control group (4.09 ± 4.034; P < 0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that PI, DMFT and age were positively associated with exaggerated gag reflex and that DMFT and educational level were positively associated with dental anxiety compared to the control group. DMFT was the only significant parameter positively associated with dental anxiety compared to exaggerated gag reflex.
Conclusion: DMFT and PI scores were higher among patients with dental anxiety and exaggerated gag reflex. Clinicians should consider additional oral hygiene measures and education, maintenance meetings and recall visits in those patients, as well as using supplementary aids, such as fluoride mouthwash and fluoride varnish applications, to maintain oral hygiene without triggering the exaggerated gag reflex.

Keywords: avoidance, coping, fear, oral disease, quality of life
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