Is a bad gag reflex keeping you from the dentist? You are not alone. While we all have a natural gag reflex (or laryngeal spasm) in our body, some are more sensitive to others. This can create anxiety when undergoing dental procedures, especially if there are dental impressions involved. Modern dentistry brings good news for people who suffer from a severe gag reflex. Not only do we have less invasive methods of performing dental care, such as digital impressions and x-rays, but we also offer several options in sedation dentistry.
Your gag reflex serves as a protective mechanism. It is a contraction of the back of the throat that is stimulated by an object touching the roof of your mouth or the back of your tongue or throat. When the reflex or spasm is extra sensitive, routine dental care can be quite uncomfortable. While most patients elect sedation dentistry to get full relief from their gag reflex and attain a relaxing experience in the dental chair, there are other patients who may be able to find a solution in the following ways to stop a bad gag reflex.
Crazy Ways to Overcome Your Bad Gag Reflex
Some of these tips may sound absurd, but there are patients who have found them effective. Best of all, they are very simple to do. Next time you are in the dental chair, give these techniques a try:
• Grip the left thumb in a tight fist to soothe your bad gag reflex quickly.
• Breathe through your nose.
• Pressure your “Hegu point” or the fleshy part of the palm.
• Schedule your dental visit in the late afternoon instead of morning.
Consider Sedation Dentistry as a Sure Solution
At Mitzi Morris, DMD, we are keenly aware of the obstacles that prevent patients from comfortably tolerating dental care. For patients with special needs, dental phobia, severe gag reflex and other limitations, sedation dentistry is a welcome solution. We are confident we can create a relaxing experience for you in the dental chair despite your gagging struggles.