How to Treat a Hyperactive Gag Reflex

kenmore-dentalA routine dental visit becomes much more unpleasant if you have a gag reflex. Simple procedures from an X-ray to having your mouth probed by a dental pick can become extremely unpleasant. It also makes the job more difficult for the dentists. If you happen to experience troubling gag reflexes, there are a few ways to mitigate the issue.

Self-Treatment Methods

The method most family dentists recommend is to take full deep breaths through your nose when the gag reflex is about to kick in. Beyond that, treating the problem just involves repeated conditioning. This means making a practice out of sticking objects into your throat until you become used to it. The best object is your own toothbrush. Stick it deeper into your mouth than you normally would and keep your mouth closed with the tongue making full contact with the stick of the brush. Keep the brush in your mouth until you begin to feel the gagging kick in.

Here are a few additional life hacks that some gaggers swear by:

  • Making a tight fist with your left hand with the thumb tucked inside the fingers.
  • Pressing your finger against the groove between your chin and lower lip.
  • Numbing the tongue and inside of the mouth with a numbing gel. Alternatively, you can try a sore throat spray.
  • Avoid eating anything until after your appointment

If all the above methods fail, then there is always the option of sedation dentistry.

We’ll Get You Treated One Way or Another

Our team at Kenmore Dental often works with patients that have gag reflexes. This includes our cosmetic dentists and orthodontists. One thing they all agree on is that if your gag reflex is making routine visits especially difficult, then rest assured that our dentists will provide a way to make the treatment bearable.
Edited by Justin Vorhees

Dental Treatment for Those with Gag Reflex

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