People who suffer from an easily triggered gag reflex often find a visit to the dentist to be fear-inducing, or embarrassing. Some people with gag reflex sensitivity find even brushing their teeth at home can be difficult. But, we are experienced in helping these patients overcome their fears and avoid any discomfort while visiting with us. Here are a few things that you and our team can do to diminish your gag reflex while at our dental office:
- Tell the hygienist and/or dentist before any work begins. We’ll be sure to take your sensitivity into special consideration! Simply being upfront about the potential problem can put you at ease and that will help to relax the reflex.
- Go swimming! Ok, not literally. But, by alternating slight leg lifts while in the chair – back and forth and back and forth -, your mind will be focused on something other than what’s happening in your mouth. We can also give you a stress ball to squeeze repeatedly, which will similarly “distract” you. This technique may seem odd, but it’s effective.
- Breathe through your nose. Taking a decongestant before your appointment can make this easier.
- While taking impressions, we can position you upright and forward instead of leaning you back. While we can’t do this in every case, those that we can do this for will experience less sensation toward the back of their tongue, thereby reducing the urge to gag. Warning: You may drool as a result. Disclaimer: We really don’t mind as long as you’re comfortable!
- We can administer nitrous oxide, or, even oral conscious sedation, to control extreme cases of gagging.
Plainly said, your oral health is too important to ignore because you fear embarrassment or the discomfort caused by a bad gag reflex at the dental office. There are a number of things our team will do to make sure you experience total comfort and confidence while at Modern Touch Dental. No shame. No pain. Just happy smiles and healthy teeth!