How Dentists Can Help Your Gag Reflex – Ask A Charleston SC Dentistry

In our previous post, we discussed some things that you can do to help alleviate your gag reflex during your dentist appointment. While it’s true that following those tips can help you significantly, there are also some things your dentist can do to help you, too. Read more below.

Apply A Topical Anesthetic

For most people, gag reflexes are triggered by instruments touching the roof of the mouth or the back of the tongue and throat. A topical anesthetic spray or gel can numb these areas and eliminate this common gag reflex trigger.

Treat You While You Are Seated

Most dental work is performed while the patient is reclined in the dentist’s chair, but a few procedures can be performed while you sit up. This will allow saliva to flow down your throat, lessening your chances of gagging.

Use a Rubber Mouth Dam

If sitting up during the procedure is not possible, your dentist can provide you with a rubber mouth dam, which will provide a barrier between fluids and your throat.

Administer Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

If your gag reflex is severe, laughing gas or nitrous oxide can significantly lower or eliminate your chance of gagging. This effect is widely acknowledged and has been documented by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Speak with your dentist before your appointment to see if they can administer nitrous oxide to you during your dental procedure.

Use Sedation Dentistry

If your gag reflex is extremely severe, your dentist may be able to sedate you in a variety of ways. You could take oral sedatives which will make you extremely relaxed during the procedure (yet not completely unconscious); or intravenous sedation, which will. Since general anesthesia has many more risks than other methods, this option should only be considered in extreme cases—but it is still an option.

Need A Dentist Appointment in Charleston SC? Call Lowcountry Dental Arts

Lowcountry Dental Arts is proud to offer quality dental care for patients with sensitive gag reflexes and other conditions. If you need to make a dentist appointment in Charleston SC, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us today.