Important COVID-19 Update: We continue to ship orders on time. Inventory is limited as we try to keep stores and customers supplied. Our products with Zinc (Dry Mouth Lozenges and TheraBreath PLUS Oral Rinse) have been hardest hit, but our manufacturing team is... (more)

Fear of bad breath, and other dental phobias, can actually worsen halitosis

By – Bad Breath Expert
Posted: July 27, 2012, Updated: March 16, 2016
SUMMARY: As FDR once said, all we have to fear is fear itself - well, that, and dentists.

bad breath dental phobias

Fear of dentists, or of dentistry in general, isn't that uncommon. In fact, a survey published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that as many as 11 percent of adults have "dental fear," an all-out phobia of dentistry that keeps them from getting their teeth cleaned, even when they have cavities and bad breath.

But this isn't the only tooth-related fright out there. There are more than a dozen oral and dental phobias, and they can actually encourage bad breath by either preventing dental care or leading to excessive brushing or scraping.

These phobias include:

- Dentophobia. This is the above mentioned fear of dentistry, scientifically known as "dental fear."

- Odontophobia. A fear specifically of dentists. This phobia often stems from bad experiences with a former dental practitioner. In Durgesh Bailoor's and K.S. Nagesh's textbook Fundamentals of Oral Medicine and Radiology, the authors discuss the potential benefits of hypnotherapy and exposure therapy.

- Halitophobia. A fear of having (or, less commonly, simply smelling) bad breath. Moderate use of specialty breath fresheners can help ease this fear, as can cognitive behavioral therapy.

- Geumaphobia. A fear of tasting new things. In his book, An Excess of Phobias and Manias, John G. Robertson notes that the development of a condition called ageusia (the gradual inability to taste anything, which he terms "gustatory agnosia") can incidentally "knock out" this phobia. A more common, age-related condition called "anosmia" (the inability to smell) can effectively do the same.

- Honondasdontiaphobia. A fear of having one's teeth extracted or seeing them fall out. This fear is typically related to a dental injury or poor tooth-extraction experience.

- Cancerophobia. Bailoor and Nagesh note that this fear of cancer can be specific to oral carcinomas, with patients typically overusing (and constantly changing) toothpaste and mouthwash brands.

Recommended Products

Free Shipping when you spend $49
Free Shipping when you spend $49