The issue of odontophobia (fear of dentists or dental treatment) is a very common issue. Statistics show that it could be as high as twenty five percent of people in the UK. To some, the thought of going to the dentist fills them with fear and dread, which can cause problems for people’s dental health. New research now suggests that this could in fact be inherited from parents.
The research study was performed by the West Virginia University, to explore the subject of dental phobia. The results found evidence to suggest that dental phobia could be, in part, a genetic issue. Research showed that the fear of pain gene was also responsible for people fearing the dentist. One of the researchers involved in the study, Cameron Randall, was quoted in the Birmingham Mail as saying, “The most important conclusion of this study is that our genes may predispose us to be more susceptible to developing dental fear.”
Many people could see this issue as an irrational fear, however, in light of this new evidence, it shows a potentially deeper, underlying issue. Previously, the fear had been attributed to a bad experience during childhood, however these results suggest that it could already be in a person’s DNA.