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So flipping embarrassed - bad gag reflex!



Junior member
Nov 9, 2016
I posted here last year after i'd been looking at the site for some reassurance that it's not just me that has an awful, ridiculously out of control dental phobia :redface:, and i had managed to take the first step, book an appointment and go for an initial examination.
But i've now realised that it's going to take a lot more than that initial courage to get past my deep seated fear.

I just cannot control my panicky, ludicrously hair trigger gag reflex, and it's now beginning to really annoy me!

I had to have a full head x-ray before Xmas as i just cannot tolerate bite wings, and i was due for the first part of my much needed, 2 session, deep clean today - was almost looking forward to it! - and although i was nervous i thought i had everything under control until the dentist put the first instrument in my mouth to take a quick look.
It is like something totally out of my control takes over and no amount of breathing through the nose, meditation, distraction will stop me gagging and then just sitting bolt upright and freezing.
I am so embarrassed by this, but we both agreed that it was not going to help either of us to continue and i am now booked into the other (better-equipped-but-right-over-the-other-side-of London-to-where-i-live) branch of my dentists clinic to try sedation in a weeks time.

All for a clean.
Nothing else needs to be done right now.

My x-ray showed no other major problems, which is a blooming miracle after nearly 20 years of dentist-dodging, so it's just an issue of 'maintenance' according to dentist...why the hell can't i get this stupid gag reflex in check??! It's going to cost me a fortune now, so i am really angry with myself...:scared:

I've had a look on the page about gagging, but i am beginning to think that i am some sort of freak....

Anyone out there found a trick or something (apart from sedation) that really does work for them?

I am hoping that the initial session with a bit of gas and air might get me past this, and dentist is hopeful it will, but i am willing to try anything now... Feel like a right prat :shame:
It could be anxiety that's causing that you can buy sprays to stop gag reflex that's what certain 'movie' actresses use lol sorry but it's true
Maybe see your doctor ask if they know of something that could help

Well Done on forging ahead :)
OK, so i got myself some of that chloraseptic spray and finally, after nearly 25 years of dentist dodging, i went for my long overdue deep-cleaning appointment yesterday; the second attempt after flunking the last one...

I can't say that the spray actually helped me that much, as i was having gas and air to get me through it anyway. I did feel that it numbed me slightly, as i sprayed my mouth before actually going in, and i will use it again when i go for my next appointment (without G&A) as i think i will probably need it.

The deep clean was going to be done in two sessions, but we agreed before starting that if it looked possible to get my whole mouth done in one hit, we'd go for it.

He gave me a couple of injections in the mouth and i was in the chair for nearly 2 hours, which would have been unthinkable to me previously, and although it was far from comfortable and we had to stop at regular intervals and i definitely had a few horrible moments of serious gagging and discomfort, it was nowhere near as bad as it could have been without the sedation....well, i don't think i could have done it at all without that.

I had a 5pm appointment and got out of there at 7pm, but i am so grateful to my excellent dentist for sticking it out, and arranging for me to have the gas and air to try to get me to this point.

I feel A LOT better now, and focusing on how much i really wanted to get my teeth cleaned properly and how good i would feel once i'd done it really did help me through - that and telling the dentist before we started to lock the doors, and do whatever was necessary to make sure that i did not leave that surgery without him doing what he had to do! I am so grateful for his patience and perserverance after i flunked the last appointment - i am now on the road to a much more healthy mouth, after far too many years of fear, embarassment and avoidance.

I'm going to post my dentists details in the section for recommending dentists if anyone is looking for a good one in London (branches in Hammersmith and Camberwell).

I am lucky so far, my teeth are in ok shape given my lack of dentist attendance for a considerably long time, but my advice now to someone like me would be the same as that of a lot of other people here: GO, you will feel so much better when you get down off that chair than you did before you went in. Good dentists will persist with those of us who are phobic (or severe gaggers!), and they will find a way of helping you, so finding a good one is half of the job done.:)
nitrous helps with gagging
Well, i would agree that for me it certainly helped but it didn't stop the gagging completely, which may have been more to do with the fact that they could only use one suction tube (due to gas and air tube on one side) to remove what felt like quite a lot of water sloshing around, which did trigger my gag reflex a few times. The dental nurse was very efficient though, and after the first half hour (!) she had perfected a good technique to get in there and avoid my gag 'trigger' areas as best she could for most of the time! We also had the chair positioned slightly sitting up as i still cannot tolerate lying right back having my head positioned lower than my feet... don't think i ever will.

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