Hands up, who’s afraid of the Dentist?

It turns out that 1 in 10 of us lives in extreme fear of the Dentist. I guess fear is normal when a masked stranger shoves pointy instruments into your mouth and starts scratching around. According to a study published in New Scientist, suggests that dentists can smell when a patient is anxious, which in turn makes them more likely to make mistakes and perform badly. Wooooah!

The finding is the first real-world evidence that chemical signals hidden in our body odour can betray our emotions and influence the behaviours of those around us, says Valentina Parma at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy.

In addition, the same phenomenon is likely to occur in other settings as well. For example, sitting nearby an especially nervous person during an exam might impact your own grades, so says Parma. Body odours may influence work performance, too, if you’re within sniffing distance of your boss or colleagues.

Adding on, anxious patients were 4x more likely to experience pain than non-anxious patients, thus proving a strong correlation between anxiety and susceptibility to experiencing pain.

Not to worry though, as these modern days many dental practices come fully equipped with music compilations, fluffy blankets and even Netflix on demand.