A gag reflex is a natural response that your body shows in response to the entry of a foreign matter. It is a form of protection mechanism of the body but is problematic if this response is overactive. A gag reflex at the back of your throat is a common occurrence in many individuals, especially when they visit the dentist, which causes hindrance during an examination. In this blog, we have discussed 9 distinct methods to get rid of gag reflex problems for good. Let’s take a brief look at what gagging is.
Gagging is the antagonist of swallowing; when this reflex gets triggered 2 different parts of your throat react on it, which are:
- Pharynx – contraction takes place
- Larynx – propels the matter upwards
It is a neuromuscular controlled reaction that stops big foreign matters from ingestion. There are typically 2 types of gagging:
- Somatogenic – through a physical stimulus
- Psychogenic – mental stimulus
Mostly, these two types of gagging co-occur; you may get triggered via someone’s repulsive touch, smell, or visual detection of an object that acts as a stimulus.
How Does Gag Reflex Works?
When sensitive areas of the throat, i.e., your pharynx or larynx, are triggered, gag reflex occurs. Apart from the two mentioned uvula, mouth palate and rear part of the tongue. As the stimulus enters, you will feel choking or throat closing, propelling the object.
How To Get Rid Of Gag Reflex?
After meticulous research, we have combined 9 ways to effectively get rid of the gag reflex:
If your triggers are mind related, then psychological approaches might help get rid of this problem? Some of the behavioral methods you can try are:
- Distract yourself
- Cognitive behavior therapy
Acupressure or Acupuncture
Acupuncture and acupressure are suitable alternative methods for treating gag reflex. These methods help the body’s rebalancing and maintain equilibrium with needles inserted in particular points on the body.
Oral and Topical Medicines
Some medicines may help you get rid of your gag reflex issue. Few local anesthetics applied on the sensitive areas can quickly numb them, thereby helping manage this issue. Antihistamines or sedatives are also helpful.
Nitrous oxide is often used for controlling gag reflex during medical and dental procedures.
The dentist may modify how they perform a certain procedure or may make a prosthetic for your sensitive gag reflex.
Change in Swallowing Methods
In some people swallowing pills is a difficult task. So, in order to get rid of gag reflex while taking pills, there are a few tips and tricks such as using a small neck bottle or propping your chin up while gulping.
A temporal tap is another way of suppressing your gag reflex; all you do is start a chain of tapping the front ear, then a loose circle at the back of your ear. It is a very effective and easy method.
Desensitize your area, use a soft brush and go beyond the standard patch till you start gagging. Gently brush that area for 10 seconds or until you can’t hold it back. Do not puke.
Calming your nerves is important. Practice yoga and breathing exercises for relaxation and halting gag response.
At Mission Bend Family Dentistry, we take care of our patient’s needs; our dentists are careful during the procedures and offer great comfort. Call us today at 832 895 5110 for an appointment.