Involuntary gagging is one of the most uncomfortable feelings one can experience. If allowed to go on for a while a gag reflex can lead to sore throat, in some cases it can cause you laryngitis which is normally painful. Gag reflexes can limit you from doing a number of things for example, eating food, swallowing medicine or even visiting your dentist.
Gag reflex is not a foreign body reaction; everyone must experience it at some point in their lives. Gag reflex is the body’s natural defense reaction against choking on various objects. Fortunately, there are various which you can inhibit gag reflex easily and prevent the discomfort from ruining your day.
Ways to stop Gag reflex
- Numbing Soft Palate, numbing your soft palate, should be your first reaction towards stopping a gag reflex. A gag reflex is triggered at the point where an article comes into contact with the soft palate. Here, use a desensitizing throat splash for soft palate desensitization. You can also use a gel that can ease tooth torment. The impact from this procedure will go on for one hour and your soft palate will become less touchy.
- Disengage to suppress gag reflex, slowly but gradually letting your soft palate get used to touch can reduce the incidence of your gag reflex or eliminate it at altogether. However disengaging should be carried out in steps and it requires patience and effort over time.
Start by finding out the where your gag reflex commences. You can accomplish this by using a tooth brush to brush the tongue. The position closest to the front of the tongue that leads to gagging should be your point of concentration.
Secondly brush your tongue right from where the gag starts. It is given that you will gag but and it might be unpleasant but I will only be for a short while. Repeatedly brush the area for around ten minutes then leave it. Repeat the procedure for a few more nights and the gag will become less and lesser each time you do it.
As the gagging reduces increase the brushing area. To determine the area of increase, leave the areas that you can touch with your tooth brush and not gag. Go further to an area you can touch and gag. Technically speaking; brush at least a quarter an inch to a half an inch behind where the gag was first at. Using this as your new starting point you can push further behind. As you move further behind, eventually the gag will continually be desensitized in the previous spots.
Move further backwards until you can go no further. By now the toothbrush will have come into contact with your soft palate. Such contact will inhibit any further gag refluxes. This is the most effective method to solve a gag reflex problem, however it requires persistence as the whole process can take a more than a month to complete. Once you have completed the process your doctor should be able to swab your throat without you gaging.
The process should be done from time to time to prevent the reflux from returning. It is advisable to brush your tongue at least twice in twenty four hours. This not only keeps you desensitized but also gives you a fresher breath all day.
- Relaxing to suppress a gag reflex, it is important to note that gag reflexes are mostly caused by a combination of physiology and psychology. To some people the psychological aspect comes into play more than the physiological aspect. For example you may have gone through a bad experience at your dentist your doctor in the recent past that makes you feel as if you are losing control. For some people, the psychological aspect will play a larger role. The best way to approach such a situation is to approach your dentist and communicate the issue to them so as to build your confidence. Asserting that you are in control makes you feel relaxed. Also to improve on relaxation you can do some repetitive motions such as controlled breathing, yoga, and meditation.
- Tightening your stomach muscles can stop gagging. If you are lying down, lift your legs up and down slowly. This will ease the gag reflex.
- Place some table salt on your tongue. Start by dipping your finger into some water to moisten it. Dip the moistened finger into the water and touch the tip of your tongue with it. Alternatively, make a salt water solution and stir hard until the salt dissolves. Rinse your mouth with the solution repeatedly while spiting each mouthful.
- Clench your fist to stop a gag reflex. This method has not been proven scientifically however, scientist believe that clenching the fist helps divert attention away from the gag helping you relax.
- Breathe through the nose. In some instances a gag reflex may be caused by insufficient air passage. Take a moment and breathe in deeply through your nose. If your nose is congested, make use of a nasal decongestant to make your breathing easier. Easy breathing reduces the incidence of gag reflexes
- Hum. Humming is a quick homemade solution to stopping a gag reflex. The principle behind the hum is simple; it is not possible to hum and gag at the same time. If you are faced by a surprise gag reflex humming should be your first cause of action.
Gag reflexes come at the most unexpected times in the day; when you are on a business dinner or when you are in a public transport system. They have a tendency of getting you at the “right” moment. Knowing a few ways to suppress the reflexes quickly and efficiently doesn’t hurt.
The methods above should help you a great deal in stopping a gag reflex. However, it is important to note that a gag reflex is not a complication. It is your bodies way of protecting you from stifling. Therefore don’t get worked up about if it happens to you.