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Orange You Glad You Visited The Dentist?
August 27, 2014

By Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service

INTELIHEALTH - A small study has found that aromatherapy may be helpful in reducing dental anxiety.

The study used an orange fragrance. It included 56 people. All of them needed surgery to remove an impacted wisdom tooth. Before surgery, they answered questions about their anxiety levels. All had moderate to high anxiety levels.

Vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, breathing rate) were taken in the waiting room, and then several times during surgery. In the waiting room, vital signs were the same between the groups. During surgery, half of the group was exposed to orange fragrance. The other half was not. Those exposed to the fragrance had lower blood pressure, pulse and breathing rates during the surgery than the control group.

Orange fragrance is said to regulate heartbeat, lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety. Other studies have found that orange or lavender fragrance can reduce anxiety in dental patients.

The study appears in the September issue of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

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