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AGD: Watch out for breathing condition during dental care
Updated: 12/10/2008 8:00:31 PM

AGD: Watch out for breathing condition during dental care The most common emergency situation at a dentist's office involves a situation in which a patient loses consciousness due to stress, fatigue or another underlying cause, according to the Academy of General Dentistry.

Dentists and patients alike are being warned by the AGD to watch out for symptoms of vasovagal syncope, which may include dizziness, lightheadedness, turning pale, heart palpitations, sweating, nausea or vision changes.

These warning signs may result in loss of consciousness and muscle tone. Dentists who note symptoms of vasovagal syncope will cease the dental procedure and provide treatment.

Findings published in the AGD's journal General Dentistry state that this is the most common clinical issue that affects around 3.5 percent of the population, regardless of age.

Anxiety is one state of mind that may lead to vasovagal syncope, which makes it largely preventable.

"It is not uncommon for patients to experience some anxiety when visiting their general dentist," commented AGD spokesperson, Dr. Melvin Pierson. "Yet, there are ways to lessen the possibility of an anxiety-related incident."

People who are worried about visiting a dentist may want to try using visualization techniques or listening to music to block out the sound of the drill, according to the American Dental Association.

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