Ease Your Fear Of Sedation Dentistry With Yoga Breathing

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If the thought of taking or using a sedative before your oral surgery makes your heart pound frantically or your breathing increase, you need to keep reading. Although intravenous and oral sedatives prevent feelings of anxiety and fear during procedures, they can also bring on feelings of uncertainty before procedures. There's a way to control your breathing and relax your body before you take or use a sedative. You can use yoga breathing. Here's what you should know about dental sedation, as well as how to use yoga breathing effectively.

Why Do You Fear Dental Sedatives?

Your fear of taking or using a sedative can come from many things, including how it may affect your body during your procedure. You may feel afraid of losing your ability to react to things around you. Dental sedatives are designed to relax your muscles, as well as the chemicals inside your brain that control your moods. Sedation techniques like intravenous sedation create the sensation of heaviness in your arms and legs. They may also make you feel sleepy. Although these are only temporary issues, you may not like the idea of having little control over your body.

Additionally, you may experience different moods while using or taking a sedative. For example, some clients feel elated or very happy after they take an oral sedative. Your dentist calls these types of drugs "happy pills" because they place you in a good mood. You should keep in mind that sedatives make it easier to provide the dental care you need because they eliminate pain. Pain can keep you from getting your much-needed oral surgery, which creates more problems with your oral health.

Yoga is one of the most unique ways to relax your body before your dental visit. Yoga teaches you how to move air in and out of your lungs with your diaphragm, which is the large band of muscle tissue found just below your chest and above your abdomen. One of the breathing techniques you may benefit from is diaphragm breathing.

What Is Diaphragm Breathing?

Diaphragm or abdominal breathing is one of the easiest beginner's yoga techniques you can do before your scheduled dental appointment. The technique focuses on your pranas or breaths, which refers to the positive energy your body needs to fight off negative emotions, illnesses and poor brain functions. Diaphragm breathing diminishes stress because it circulates more oxygen to the nerve cells in your adrenal glands. The glands release a chemical called cortisol whenever you experience intense fear and uncertainty.

If you stay in a constant state of fear, the adrenal glands produce too much cortisol until they become overwhelmed and stop working properly. The more oxygenated blood circulates to the adrenal glands, the more stable they become.

How Do You Perform Diaphragm Breathing?

Performing diaphragm breathing once a day, preferably right before bedtime, is a great way to relax for your oral surgery and sedative. You can do the technique in seven easy steps:

  1. Find a quiet place to relax, then sit down with your legs crossed at the knees
  2. Straighten your back, but keep your neck in a relaxed position to avoid adding tension in the muscles of your face, neck and head
  3. Close your eyes and place your left hand on your abdomen just below your chest, then place your right hand over your heart 
  4. Focus your mind on the hand placed on your abdomen — you can press your fingertips against your abdomen to help you do this
  5. Count to five as you take in a slow breath — tighten your abdominal muscles as you inhale  
  6. Hold the breath for one second and slowly expel it — as you exhale the air, your abdomen should pull in toward your spine

As you inhale and exhale air, your abdomen contracts or becomes tighter. This movement activates the muscle tissues in your diaphragm. If your abdomen moves instead of your chest when you do the breathing exercise, then you're doing it correctly. The more you practice the technique, the better you may become at using your diaphragm to breathe.

If you have more questions about how to relax before your surgery or sedative, contact your dental provider, like Dr. Frank W. Sallustio, right away. Your provider will discuss his or her dental sedation techniques in more detail when you do.