Frequent gagging during a dental procedure has long been a problem for dentists. Research has proven that most people who fear going to the dentist have a sensitive, even hyperactive, gag reflex. It not only interferes with the treatment, but it also makes dental treatment longer. This article will talk about why people gag during their dental visits and how dentists can help them.
What is gagging?
Gagging or the gag-reflex is a reaction when the soft palate is stimulated. It is a contraction of the throat that is triggered by an object stimulating the back of your tongue, the roof of your mouth, your tonsils, and the back of the throat.
The gag-reflex is natural, and can only be a problem when it’s oversensitive. It is the reaction of the body when it’s trying to protect itself from swallowing foreign objects.
Why is gagging associated with dental fear?
Although there is no known epidemiology why frequent gagging happens, it is mainly associated with dental fear. There are lots of factors why people fear the dentist. It can be the equipment, the sound, or the atmosphere. Also, the idea of someone doing dental procedures inside their mouths makes them feel vulnerable.
Frequent gagging during a dental procedure is a problem not only for you but for dentists as well. It leads to more fear as it makes the procedure longer and more difficult.
What is done to prevent or lessen gagging?
Due to advancing dental research and technology, sedation dentistry has been at the forefront of treatments that we can do to lessen or even prevent gagging during a dental procedure. Here are some of them:
- Nitrous Oxide- this can be used for light gagging. It works really well with an anesthetic spray like the ones that you can buy over-the-counter. It helps reduce anxiety thus lessens the gagging. Using this is like treating strep throat with a topical spray.
- IV Sedation- this can be used for severe gag-reflex. There are multiple levels and what’s great about it is dentists can control the time you are under sedation. The patient’s come in and out of it smoothly. So if you have any anxiety and you feel like you’re going to throw up when you go to the dentist, IV sedation is the solution for you.
Get dental treatment without dental fear
Anxiety and fear for dental procedures are easier to handle if you’re with the right people in the field. Check us out at PV smiles and see how we can help you with your dental needs in a safe, relaxed and stress free way.