Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Dental Anxiety

A study of the presence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adult patients with severe dental anxiety analyzed the relationship among ADHD, oral health, and dental anxiety. The WHO Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) Screener was distributed to a consecutive sample of patients referred to a dental fear research and treatment clinic. Patients completed questionnaires measuring dental anxiety and self-rated oral health, and underwent a full radiographic exam. Of the total sample (n = 110), 16% scored above the established ASRS cut-off point, which is reflective of having ADHD. The ADHD group was found to have a higher level of dental anxiety and poorer self-rated oral health, while also showed signs of poorer clinical oral health, yet not of statistical significance. The results denoted an increased prevalence of ADHD in highly dentally anxious adults and the need to pay special attention to these patients because of greater treatment needs and increased dental anxiety.
(Source: European Journal of Oral Sciences. DOI: 10.1111/eos.12016)


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