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How to Help Your Gag Reflex at the Dentist, Part 2 | Steele Creek Dental

In our previous blog post, we discussed some of the things patients can do to help mitigate their gag reflex at the dentist’s office. In today’s post, we’ll explore ways that your dentist can help with cases that are particularly severe. If our prior tips don’t give you the relief you need, talk to your Steele Creek dentist about whether or not it’s possible to take these more rigorous steps.

Apply A Topical Anesthetic

For most people, gag reflexes are triggered by dental instruments touching the roof of the mouth or the back of the tongue and throat. Your dentist may apply a topical anesthetic spray or gel to these areas in order to numb them, thereby preventing the gag reflex.

Apply Some Salt

One common trick used by dental hygienists is to place table salt on the tip or side of the patient’s tongue right before a gag-inducing activity. The strong taste distracts from the impulse to gag. Bring a packet of salt with you to your appointment in case your office has not heard of this solution.

Treat You While You Are Sitting Up

Most dental work is performed while the patient is reclined in the dentist’s chair, but it’s sometimes possible for your dentist to perform work while you are sitting up. This allows your saliva to flow down your throat, lessening your chances of gagging.

Use Sedation Dentistry

If your gag reflex is severe, laughing gas or nitrous oxide can significantly lower or eliminate your chance of gagging. This effect has been confirmed and documented by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

If your gag reflex is extremely severe, your dentist may be able to take tougher measures, such as administering oral sedatives which will make you relaxed (but not unconscious) during the procedure. Most dental practitioners try to avoid intravenous sedation unless absolutely necessary, since general anesthesia has many risks. However, it is another option in the most extreme cases.

Need A Dentist Appointment in Steele Creek? Call Our Steele Creek Dentist!

Steele Creek Dental is proud to offer quality dental care for Steele Creek patients and their families. If you are looking for an experienced, compassionate dentist who can help with your gag reflex or other issues, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment! Click here to fill out our easy contact form.