The gag reflex is an innate response that the body shows in response foreign matter entry. This phenomenon is also considered as a form of protection mechanism of the body. However, it is problematic if the response center is over active. A gag reflex simulating the back of your throat is common amongst many people especially during the dental visit which causes hindrance during the dental checkup. In this blog we have detailed 9 different options to get rid of gag reflex. Let’s first see what gagging is and then we will move on.

What is Gagging?

Gagging is the opposite of the regular swallowing mechanism, when this reflex is triggered the pharynx and larynx of your throat react:

  • Pharynx – contracts
  • Larynx – pushes up

The two parts are involved in a neuromuscular reaction that halts the entry of big foreign matters into the stomach for ingestion. Typically gagging is divided in 2 broad categories:

  1. Psychogenic – mental stimulus
  2. Somatogenic – physical stimulus

Usually, these 2 types of gagging take place together. The stimulus varies, you can get triggered because of a repulsive touch, foul smell or even visual detection of an object.

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How Does A Gag Reflex Work?

When the trigger sensitive areas of your throat i.e. the pharynx or larynx are triggered, gag reflex occurs. Apart from the two structures of the throat mentioned above, uvula, roof or palate and back portion of the tongue get involved in the reaction as well. As the foreign stimulus enters you may feel choking or throat closing trying to propel it out.

How To Get Rid Of Gag Reflex?

You must wonder if there is any way of actually getting rid of a gag reflex or not. Well, you can’t, however, here are 9 ways to deal with it.

Acupressure or Acupuncture

These two are good alternative treatment methods for a gag reflex. They help the body rebalance and maintain equilibrium with the help of needles inserted in some particular points on the human body.

  1. Topical or Oral Medicines

Some medicinal drugs may help you get rid of the tiring gag reflex problem. Certain local anesthetics used on your sensitive areas numbs them thereby managing this issue. The drugs include antihistamines and sedatives which are useful for catering this issue.

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Psychological Treatment

If the triggers are mostly mind related, then psychological approaches will help get rid of this problem. Here are some of the methods you can try:

  • Hypnosis
  • Distract yourself
  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  1. Anesthetics

Nitrous oxide gas is usually used for controlling gag reflex during medical and dental procedures.

  1. Prosthetics Usage

Your dentist can modify their procedure technique or may make a prosthetic agent helpful for your sensitive gag reflex.

  1. Swallowing Method Change

For some people gulping pills is a not an easy task. Therefore, for getting rid of the gag reflex during taking pills, you can use these few tips and tricks such as; using small necked bottle or moving your chin or head up at the time of gulp.

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  1. Temporal Tap

A temporal tap can suppress the dreaded gag reflex, all you have to do is start a sequence of tapping the front ear, next a loose circle at the back of your ear. It is an effective and easy method.

  1. Desensitization Techniques

Desensitize your trigger stimulating area. Here’s how you can do it,

  1. Use a soft bristle brush and move beyond the normal brushing area till you feel the gag.
  2. Now, slowly brush that place for around 10 seconds or until you can’t hold puke back.
  1. Relaxation

Calming down your nervousness is mandatory. Practice breathing exercises and yoga for relaxation and ceasing gag response.

References: 

https://www.newhealthadvisor.org/How-to-Stop-Gag-Reflex.html

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