I have a bad gag reflex – can sedation dentistry help?
The list of factors that deter patients from the dental office is understandably extensive. Even when dental treatment is clinically necessary, many patients find it difficult to overcome the feeling of denial and the natural tendency to procrastinate. For some patients, a strong gag reflex can even be a significant deterrent from the dental office. It is quite fortunate that most patients are finding a renewed peace of mind when they choose to have their dental treatment completed by a sedation dentist, who is deft at surgical arts.
A sensitive gag reflex can be triggered by an act as simple as brushing the teeth and it can really kick into high gear for an oral surgery procedure such as the extraction of the wisdom teeth. A strong or a bad gag reflex is frustrating for some patients because the reaction is almost impossible to control. Many patients find themselves feeling embarrassed or humiliated when they are unable to tolerate dental x-rays and other procedures inside of the mouth.
Intravenous sedation, which can be adjusted to be either moderate or deep, or the use of a full general anesthetic, can help to soothe a bad reflex as well as the accompanying embarrassment and anxiety. For an oral surgery procedure, moderate or deep sedation enables most patients to quiet the nervous voices inside of their heads and quell the urge to gag.
The strong urge to gag is incredibly common in the dental office, and your oral surgeon has many effective tools to help you to cope. Typically, gagging is due to a psychological factor or a physiological factor. It is either triggered by an emotional feeling, a physical stimulation, or a combination of both. Patients may experience a sense of panic, a feeling of difficulty swallowing, or difficulty catching their breath.
For all of the factors that can trigger gagging, IV sedation is almost always the most effective solution for eliminating the gagging.
If a bad or strong gag reflex has prevented you from following through with your oral surgery, contact the ORA office of Steven Koos DDS, MD today to discuss your options.