How to Avoid Gagging at the Dentist's Office
The gagging reflex is also called the "pharyngeal reflex," and some people have it more than others. If you're one of those people who has this condition strongly, chances are good that you often have a terrible time at the dentist's office. Here are some common issues that cause this to happen at the dentist's, along with what you can do about it by choosing your dentist carefully.
Impression Material Causing the Reflex
When you need to get an impression of your teeth, one common way that dentist's go about doing this is with special impression material. The issue is that this material can sometimes make you gag. This happens because of the flat material used to make the impression.
The material has to be inserted deep into your mouth, which can make you gag if it gets too close to the back of your throat. The problem is that not only is this going to make your life more unpleasant, but it can also screw up the impression if you move around too much. It has to be done just right.
One solution is something called an intra-oral scanner. You can usually check to make sure a dentist has one by looking at their website or by asking them. If the scanner is used instead, you don't need to have the impression material at all.
Thanks to modern digital techniques, the scanner can get the impression of your teeth needed without inserting anything into your mouth. Additionally, if you move or gag for any other reason, the machine can often even save progress so you don't have to do the entire thing again.
Another problem patients often have with gagging at the dentist's office is when you need X-rays. One of the more important factors here is making sure you find a dentist who can handle it. Check reviews online to see if a particular dentist doesn't get frustrated by patients gagging during an X-ray. The reflex isn't your fault, after all.
You can use throat spray to help. This stuff is available over the counter and you can numb your mouth for an hour. Spray designed to help with relieving snoring is also often effective.
Some sources online stand by using salt and rinsing for a few minutes. This is supposed to help you control your reflex for when you put the wings that help clarify the X-ray images in your mouth. Another recommendation is breathing through your nose, drinking very cold water, or distracting yourself with things like music. For more information, talk to a professional like Buffalo Dental Group.