If you or your loved one suffers from a severe gag reflex, we provide several safe and effective sedation dentistry methods for all of your dental care needs.
The gag reflex is your body’s natural defense mechanism to prevent foreign objects from entering your airway. However, some people have very sensitive gag reflexes. It may result from a mental trigger, such as anxiety, or a developmental disability such as autism or cerebral palsy.
Whatever the reason, it can be challenging for a patient with a sensitive gag reflex to receive dental care. But forgoing dental care due to your sensitivity is not a good idea. At The Dental Anesthesia Center, we provide sedation and sleep dentistry options for patients with severe gag reflexes.
Sedation Dentistry Methods
If you or your loved one suffers from a severe gag reflex, we provide several safe and effective sedation dentistry methods for all of your dental care needs. Sedation dentistry can be used for invasive dental procedures, general tooth cleaning, and X-rays.
The patient is given medication to help them relax during the procedure. Patients are typically conscious during the process, except for those under general anesthesia. The levels of sedation include:
- Minimal sedation
- Moderate sedation
- Deep sedation
- General anesthesia
Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way for many patients to receive dental treatment. On your initial visit, Drs. Hoffmann or Thoms will need to know your medical history and current medical condition to help you decide which sedation method is suitable for your needs.
Some Ways to Naturally Ease Your Gag Reflex
If you suffer from a severe gag reflex, you’re not alone. This is a common condition that many patients suffer from. There are a few ways to ease your gag reflex naturally. Some of these include:
- Communicate your fears – At your dental visit, tell us about your issue, any concerns you have, and specific dental work in the past that caused you to gag. When we know your situation, we can make your treatment as comfortable for you as possible.
- Pick a suitable time of day – This may sound strange, but you may find that you’re more susceptible to gagging at certain times of the day. For instance, you may gag more in the morning, like when you brush your teeth. Scheduling your visit later in the day may work better for you.
- Breathe through your nose – Take deep breaths through your nose to stay relaxed. If you have a stuffy nose on the day of your visit, consider rescheduling. You might also consider taking a decongestant before your appointment to relieve any sinus congestion.
- Sit up rather than lying down – Your gag reflex may be more sensitive when you’re lying down. If possible, we can sit you up more for your dental work. This may help ease the strong reflex feeling.
- Practice getting control over your gag reflex – When you brush your teeth, this is an excellent time to practice getting control over your sensitivity. Gently and slowly touch the back of your throat with your toothbrush. When you feel the urge to gag, try to control it by breathing through your nose. This tactic will work, but it will likely take several weeks of practice before getting over your sensitivity.
Schedule Your Dental Appointment Today
At The Dental Anesthesia Center, we are well equipped to treat your dental problems despite your gag reflex or any other fear or anxiety you suffer from. We value our patient relationships, making it our priority to deliver the gentle dental care you deserve from sedation dentists in St. Louis. We work hard to make you feel at ease by providing exceptional patient care in a relaxed, convenient atmosphere.
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The Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologists in the State of Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.