Dental Sedation to Overcome Gag Reflex

Do you suffer from a bad gag reflex?   This article explores the use of sedation during dental treatment to control and reduce gag reflex.

Illustration of Patient with Gag Reflex Sedation

Do you suffer from a bad gag reflex?  

This article explores the use of sedation during dental treatment to control and reduce gag reflex.

More common than you think!

Our gag reflex is considered a vital component of our airway protective mechanisms and is present in most healthy individuals.   It’s role is to protect our airways, preventing the aspiration of food, liquids, or other materials into the larynx and lungs.

However, gag reflexes can become exaggerated due to a variety of factors; such as anxiety, the shape and size of tonsils leaving some people more prone to severe gag reflexes than others.

Rest assured, many people come to our practice suffering from strong gag reflexes that become more pronounced when it comes to dental treatment.  

Often we hear it’s the instruments, intrusiveness of X-rays, and even the sensation of treatment that all act to overstimulate a patient’s gag reflex.  

Some report excessive saliva production, and a general worry and anxiety of dental treatment.

Sedation to prevent Gag Reflex during Dental Treatment 

One avenue you might want to consider is IV or Intravenous Sedation whilst you undergo dental treatment.

Midazolam, which is a medicine administered intravenously during dental treatment, can work to prevent and subdue strong gag reflexes.

IV Sedation with Midazolam suppresses receptors in the nervous system.  It will make you less prone to the physical sensations of gagging, and will give you a deep sense of relaxation and calm when in the dental chair.

So it’s a good approach for a number of issues that people with gag reflex feel as it diminishes both the mental aspect of worry and stress, as well as the physical elements of the reflex itself.

IV Sedation Process

The process of administering IV Sedation is straightforward.

After an initial consultation, we will book you in for a 1-2 hour appointment depending on what treatment is required.  

Before your day of treatment you’ll receive pre-operative instructions and relevant consent forms. It’s always best to arrive early, so you can feel accustomed to your surroundings and relaxed before treatment.  

When you’re invited into the Surgery room, you’ll be linked to a Heart rate monitor and your Sedation Dentist will find a suitable site to inject Midazolam to begin your treatment under sedation.

Afterwards, we allow for time to relax in the chair and for you to “come to”.  Either this is done naturally, or we provide a reversing agent which takes away the sedative affects of Midazolam.

Contact Us Today

We’ve treated many hundreds of patients with IV Sedation and welcome all patients to the practice.  Please don’t hesitate to get in contact today to speak to one of our team.

Begin your dental journey.  Contact us and one of our team will help to book your appointment.