Lavender

Lavender can help with dental anxiety

It’s said to soothe headaches and aid sleep - now lavender has been shown to help cope with a trip to the dentist. In a study of 340 people by King's College London, researchers found that those exposed to lavender oil scent were less anxious about the treatment ahead.

All the patients studied were waiting for a scheduled dental appointment. Half were exposed to the scent given off by a candle warmer activating five drops of lavender oil in water during regular clinics over a four-week period, while the rest were not. The anxiety level of those not exposed to lavender was 10.7 compared with 7.4 among those smelling the scent.

Metaxia Kritsidima, who led the study, said: "A substantial number of people avoid going to dental surgeries because they are scared of the dentist, which can have a significant impact on their dental health.”

She added: "Our findings suggest that lavender could certainly be used as an effective "on-the-spot" anxiety reduction in dentists' waiting rooms."

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