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How Can I Prevent Myself from Gagging?

Hey. The last 4 or 5 times I’ve been to the dentist, I’ve had a gagging problem that has prevented me from getting fillings and tooth decay removed. I now have black spots on my wisdom teeth and am worried. Last time I went, they tried putting a filling in and I used an anaesthetic spray but had no luck. Also I tried breathing through my nose and it didn’t work. Any tips on how to prevent me from gagging? It normally starts when something is touching the back of my tongue. Do you know if the dentist can drill a hole into my tooth and not put anything in my mouth and put a filling in to it?

The answer to your last question is no. However, it might be that you need IV sedation to get the work done, or something called relative analgesia ( RA ), which suppresses the gag reflex .
A tip is to try a bit of de-sensitisation, starting with a small toothbrush placed at the front of your mouth and breathing deeply for as long as you can manage it.
If the gag starts then immediately remove it. Then gradually go a bit further in etc. Hope this helps, Jenny.

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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