It is normal to gag when there is a risk of undesired items entering the throat or airway. However, some people have a very sensitive gag reflex that can react when anything touches the back of the tongue or throat. Patients with severe gag reflex can have difficulty when receiving dental treatments. At Shadle Smiles in Spokane, we offer options to ensure patients with severe gag reflex are comfortable when they receive their dental care.
There are techniques that can minimize the gag reflex reaction. Breathing techniques, relaxation methods and numbing the sensitive area can be helpful for many patients. Sometimes, it is mind over matter – the reaction is lessened once the patient is mentally prepared for their dental treatment.
A sensitive gag reflex is not only uncomfortable for the patient during dental treatments, but it can hinder care. The jerking reaction can interrupt treatment and extend the time required for dental procedures. To make patients more comfortable and to expedite care, sedation dentistry may be recommended for patients with a severe gag reflex.
Sedation for Sensitive Gag Reflex
To improve the experience for patients with an overactive gag reflex, sedation dentistry can be used. We offer both nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oral conscious sedation. Nitrous oxide can provide a relaxing sensation that does not have long-lasting aftereffects. Oral conscious sedation may be recommended for those with a more severe gag reflex to minimize interruptions in the treatment. Oral conscious sedation does require the patient to have someone bring them to and from their dental appointment.
If you have an overactive gag reflex, do not let it interfere with your oral care. There are methods to make dental care more comfortable and avoid any disruption during your visits. Talk to our dental team at Shadle Smiles before your visit about your condition. We can offer sedation or other options to manage your comfort.
Shadle Smiles welcomes patients from the greater Mead, Airway Heights and Spokane, WA, area. Contact our dentist office today if you need dental treatment for severe gag reflex patients in your family.