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A gag reflex occurs in the back of your mouth and is triggered when your body wants to protect itself from swallowing something foreign. You may experience a sensitive gag reflex when visiting the dentist or doctor for a routine checkup or procedure, or even when trying to swallow a pill. There are several methods you can try to prevent your gag reflex from interfering with your overall health.
Gagging is the opposite of swallowing. When you gag, two different parts at the back of your mouth work to close off entry to your throat: Your pharynx contracts, and your larynx pushes up. This is a defense mechanism to prevent something from being swallowed and ingested. This process is controlled by your muscles and nerves and is known as a neuromuscular action. Gagging is considered normal in children under 4. They gag more frequently and typically outgrow it after their 4th birthday, as their oral functions mature.
They begin to breathe through their nose and swallow instead of breathing and suctioning. Adults prone to gagging may have difficulty swallowing. This condition is known as dysphagia. You may also experience certain triggers that stimulate the reflex from time to time. You may find yourself gagging from physical touch, but also because of the sight, sound, smell, or thought of some object or situation that triggers the reflex.
There are five places near the back of your mouth that when triggered can cause gagging. These Something to Gag on the:. When any of these spots in your mouth become stimulated by touch or other senses, the stimulation goes from your nerves to your medulla oblongata in your brain stem. This then als the muscles in the back of your mouth to contract or push up and le to gagging.
The nerves that send this al are the trigeminal, glossopharyngeal, and vagus nerves. In some instances, gagging may also activate your cerebral cortex. This could lead to gagging when even thinking about something that could stimulate this reflex.
Because a combination of factors can lead to gagging, you may find that you do it only in certain circumstances. At home, you may conduct the same types of oral cleaning routines without incident because not all of the triggers from the dental office are present. The medulla oblongata resides near other centers that al you to vomit, create saliva, or send als to your heart. This means that some additional symptoms may occur when you gag, including:. Gagging is a normal reflex, and Something to Gag on may or may not experience it as an adult. And 7. This may be because of physical touch or other sensory stimulation that occurs during the visit.
Swallowing pills can be difficult, and 1 in 3 people find themselves gagging, choking, or vomiting when trying to swallow them. Gagging can be measured on different levels. The grading levels of gagging escalate based on what triggers the reflex. If you have a normal gagging reflex, you can control your gagging, but you may experience the sensation during certain situations, like an invasive or prolonged dental procedure.
Your gagging sensitivity would be graded higher if you gag during routine cleanings or even while a dentist is conducting a brief physical or visual exam. Even though gagging is a normal neuromuscular action, it may be that you never experience a gag reflex. The trigger areas in your mouth may be less sensitive to physical touch or other senses.
You may want control your sensitive gag reflex if it interferes with your day-to-day life or your wellness. You may need to try several methods to determine what works to help you manage your gag reflex. If you Something to Gag on this when at the dentist or in another medical setting, talk to your dentist or doctor about different management options. A universal measure for gag reflex may help healthcare providers treat your sensitivity. It may be that you need to overcome your sensitive gag reflex with psychological treatments, or other interventions that influence your behavior or mental state.
You may want to try:. You may want to try an alternative method for relieving your gag reflex. Acupuncture may be useful in this instance. This practice is supposed to help your body rebalance itself and find equilibrium with the application of needles into certain points on your body.
Some topical and oral medications may alleviate your gag reflex. These include local anesthetics that you apply to sensitive areas that stimulate gagging, or other medications that control your central nervous system and help manage nausea and vomiting. Your doctor may also recommend antihistamines or sedatives, among other possible oral medications. You may find that you need nitrous oxide or local or general anesthesia administered to control your gag reflex during a dental or medical procedure that induces gagging.
Your dentist or doctor may be able to modify how they complete a procedure, or create a prosthetic if you have a sensitive gag reflex. For example, you may be able to get modified dentures. Swallowing pills may trigger a gag reflex. You can try particular methods to prevent this reflex.
Try washing down a pill by drinking from a small-necked plastic water bottle or swallowing a pill with water when your chin is pointed downward. It may be necessary for you to overcome a sensitive gag reflex to keep up your overall well-being and health. You may avoid visiting the dentist or taking prescribed medications if you have a sensitive gag reflex, and that could have serious repercussions.
Talk with your dentist or doctor if you have difficulty controlling your gag reflex when brushing your teeth or cleaning your tongue. They may be able to teach you modified techniques for these oral practices, or recommend certain products like toothpastes that help with this sensitivity.
Gagging occasionally is a normal reaction of your body and nothing to worry about. You may need to seek help to control your gagging if it interferes with your well-being or medical needs. There are many ways to control your gag reflex, and trying various methods may help you overcome a sensitive gag reflex. Gagging can make many situations uncomfortable, from swallowing pills to visiting the dentist. Learn about short-term ways to reduce your gag reflex….
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gag on (something) Idiom, Proverb