Some dental procedures can feel uncomfortable at times. For patients with severe gag reflex, almost all procedures can be challenging. If you are one who is challenged with this condition, the dentists at Rivers + Tanner Family Dentistry can provide you with options to help you have a comfortable experience with us. We work with you and find the solution to reduce your anxiety level. We will ease your gag reflex so you can relax during your visit.
Overactive gag reflexes can be caused by physical issues, such as triggering nerves at the base of the tongue, the uvula or the area of the tonsils. In some individuals, these trigger points can be overly sensitive. In addition to physical causes, there are also psychological causes. Some individuals gag at the thought of anything other than food going into their mouth. Individuals with overactive or hyperactive gag reflex may suffer from one or both causes.
Factors such as the size of your mouth, sensitivity to trigger points and past experiences can work together to create a severe gag reflex. Anxiety about the reflex and/or the dentist can make the situation worse.
Options to Relieve Severe Gag Reflex
The gag reflex serves a purpose. It is designed to prevent you from choking, so eliminating it is not an option. There are methods used to calm the reflex so it is not as sensitive. Some individuals find that focusing on something that distracts them is helpful. For example, if you concentrate on breathing through your nose and not swallowing, the gag reflex will not be as active.
Other effective distractions include listening to music. Getting lost in the sounds of the music takes your mind in a different direction. Relaxation techniques are also successful for some patients. In the event that distractions do not produce the desired results, special dental methods may be implemented to create a comfortable experience.
An overactive gag reflex can make it tempting to avoid visits to the dentist. At Rivers + Tanner Family Dentistry, we work with you to control your gag reflex so you can receive the high-quality dental care you deserve. Keep your mouth healthy and your smile bright with us. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.