What is Trauma?

Trauma is something that all of us will experience in one way or another.

Trauma is the physiological response to an event or series of events that we perceive as life threatening and that can overwhelm us.

It happens when the nervous system doesn’t get a chance to respond appropriately to a perceived threat. The impacts of trauma experiences are cumulative in the nervous system.

It may be helpful to view the nervous system as a cup.

The more unresolved trauma a person has, the fuller their cup becomes.

As a result, it can be easier for their cup to overflow.

This means that they are more likely to feel anxious and that can make it harder to attend to day to day tasks.

If your cup is full, it is more likely that you will find it difficult to feel comfortable at the dental clinic.

It would be easy for your nervous system to read the situation as unsafe.

The nervous system operates on a safe or unsafe basis.

When you are feeling unsafe, it can go into a fight, flight, or freeze response.

The good news is you can take steps to help yourself feel more at ease and in control when you go see an oral health practitioner.

What can you do?

Click to learn of some tangible ways that you can reduce your anxiety.

Do you have questions or feedback?

We request input from the public and practitioners about how this site can be improved.

 This website is a collaborative project that is currently in BETA and will evolve over time. We request input from the public and practitioners about how this site can be improved. If you have feedback, suggestions, or extra tools that you think would be of value, please take a moment to send us a note. Your opinion and experience matters, and will help us shape this into a valuable resource for both practitioners and the public.