Personal Stories About Coping With a Sensitive Gag Reflex

Extraction completed today! The wait is infinitely worse than getting it done

by joker10687

Just wanted to share a success story with everyone with misgivings about getting teeth pulled. I’m someone who used to gag and almost cry even when having to use the bite-wings for x-rays at age 20. I’ve had dental/hospital phobias my entire life since having a compound fracture of my arm as a kid. So when I heard I’d be going to an oral surgeon (instead of my regular dentist’s office), I was extremely nervous and scared.

I had a top left molar removed about 45 minutes ago. Everything went SO much better than expected. Doctor and his very nice assistant gave me the local anesthetic, which was the hardest part, by the way. About 2-3 seconds of pain from that and the numbing started up. This was the only pain experienced during the entire process. Since my tooth was broken, they had to use a drill which was VERY loud when coming in contact with the tooth, but I literally felt nothing but pressure. Seemingly 4-5 minutes later, he’s telling me we’re done and I almost didn’t believe him.

My absolute BIGGEST fear at the dentist is gagging or choking, this was really not a problem. There actually wasn’t much going on in my mouth, just the tiny suction tube thing and the drill at the most difficult moments (which were not really that difficult at all). I told them beforehand that I have a sensitive gag reflex and they were very understanding and accommodating. I’m now sitting in bed with a small piece of gauze up where the tooth is. Bleeding a bit but really nothing worrying. 

My main fears: 

  • Numb tongue which would lead to gagging or something. (Only one tiny part of one side of my tongue was numb at any point and it went away after like 10 minutes)
  • Pain (There really was no pain!)
  • Panicking at seeing the needle used for anesthetic and other equipment. (I just kept my eyes closed and it was good. DEEP BREATHING IS KEY!)

Sorry for the rambling post but I’ve been lurking this forum for a couple of days now and you guys have honestly helped ease my fears SO much I want to cry. Thank you all and good luck with all your dental journeys in the future! ?

Next Story