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Severe Gag Reflex

We all have a gag reflex. It is our body’s natural response mechanism when something comes in contact with the glossopharyngeal nerve fibers in the back of the mouth. While this mechanism is meant to be a way to protect us from choking, it can be problematic if the nerve fibers are especially sensitive. In fact, a severe or sensitive gag reflex can be what prevents some patients from getting in the dental chair. At Gramercy Dental Center, we can treat patients with a severe gag reflex. Our practice understands patients with special conditions and offers a number of ways to address it.

Whether your sensitive gag reflex is psychological or physiological in nature, our dentists are qualified to help. In many cases, sedation dentistry is a highly effective tool for helping patients fully relax in the dental chair without becoming anxious about their gag reflex, as this can quickly escalate the problem.

Treating a Sensitive Gag Reflex

In addition to our caring staff and sedation dentistry, we also encourage patients to use the following tips to reduce or manage their severe gag reflex at the dentist:

  • Breathe through your nose.
  • Take a nasal decongestant to open up the nasal passages.
  • Use a throat spray to numb the nerve fibers at the back of your mouth.
  • Stay distracted by listening to music or watching TV during treatments.
  • Schedule an afternoon appointment, as studies show gag reflex to be stronger in the morning.
  • Sit up straighter in the dental chair.
  • Ask for sedation dentistry

Regardless of your age or the severity of your gag reflex, your smile still needs professional attention. At Gramercy Dental Center, we want to know about your specific concerns and anxieties so that we can create a comfortable and rewarding visit for you. Our dentists carry years of experience treating patients with a sensitive gag reflex and other special needs. Contact our New York office today to book your appointment.

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