Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How To Suppress Gag Reflex

Whether your brushing your back molars, tongue or  having dental x-rays you may have experienced gagging.

Gag reflex is also known as laryngeal spasms which is a contraction of the back of the throat evoked by touching the roof of the mouth, back of the tongue and the area around the tonsils and uvula.

If you're in a situation where something is setting off your gag reflex try these short term suppression tips:
  • Squeeze your thumb - Form a fist with your left hand. Position your thumb under your finger and squeeze. * This method commonly used in dental offices. 
  • Immediate Remedies - This method helps numb the soft palate. Use a over the counter throat numbing spray or your can apply a topical numbing medication like orajel. .
  • Salt on the tongue - Moisten the tip of your finger, dip it into salt, touch the salt to the tongue. The salt in this method activates the taste buds and temporarily suppresses the gag reflex. 
"Curing" your gag reflex will help make brushing your teeth, tongue and visits to the dental office much more enjoyable. Follow these desensitizing techniques:
  • Find where your gag reflex starts by using your toothbrush. The point nearest to the front of your tongue that makes you gag is where you want to concentrate. 
  • Brush your tongue right where the gag begins. Spend about 10 seconds brushing that area.
  • Repeat the process daily while gradually increasing the brushing time and moving the brushing behind the initial gag starting point. Eventually you will hit the soft palate.
  • Be patient this process can take about a month to complete!

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