What is Gagging?

Gagging is simply a defense mechanism that your body has to keep you from chocking. Now, this is typically a good thing. No one wants to get something down “the wrong pipe”. This however, can cause problems at the dentist office. Having a bad gag reflex can make it almost impossible to get certain dental work done. The picture below will show several items. The soft palate is what we are interested in for this discussion. When something touches the soft palate the bodies natural reaction will be to close your throat off and prevent whatever it is that just touched the soft palate from continuing down your throat and choking you to death.

The tonsils and parts of the throat

Another spot where the gag reflex comes into play is tongue. This can be a little more problematic then the soft palate gag reflex. Not much will ever touch your soft palate but your tongue gets touched all the time as you eat or whenever you go to the dentist. Not much can be done for the soft palate gag reflex but there is help for the tongue.

  • Take your tooth brush and find the spot that makes you gag.
  • Start brushing your tongue at a spot that does not make you gag and work your way toward that spot.
  • Keep doing that day after day until you can brush anywhere on your tongue without gagging.

Another trick would be to place a little bit of salt on your tongue, where it makes you gag, before going to the dentist. That will, hopefully, distract that spot long enough for you to get done what is you need done.