When you brush your tongue and it gets way too far, you notice there is an urge to vomit. That natural urge is called gag reflex. It is also called laryngeal spasm or pharyngeal reflex. This is actually one of the most uncomfortable feelings you can endure. If it is left unchecked, it will lead to laryngitis. If you have a sensitive case of involuntary gagging, you will have trouble swallowing food and visiting the dentist.
Gag reflex is actually the body’s defense against swallowing or choking large and foreign objects. Many Singaporean do not have this but there are some who have to ensure it. The good news is that there are ways on how to ease your gag reflex. Here are some tips on subduing your gag reflex:
- Numb the soft palate: Soft palate is also called muscular palate. It is a soft tissue found in the back of the mouth’s roof. Soft palate is distinguished from hard palate because it does not contain any bone. If touched, the soft palate can trigger your gag reflex. The best way to numb it is to maximize numbing throat spray. This spray will desensitize the palate. If spray is unavailable, you can use gel that relieves tooth pain. The effect will last about an hour.
- Completely desensitize soft palate: If your soft palate is accustomed to touching, it will be numb. To do this, you have to gradually minimize your gag reflex. It will take time, effort and patience but everything will pay off one of these days. The basic thing that you can do is maximize your toothbrush. Brush as far as you can and when you reach the point where you gag, that is where you should concentrate. Yes, you will gag but not for long. Spend maybe 10 seconds brushing the area then call it a day. Do the same on succeeding days and you will subdue your gag reflex.
- Put dab of salt on your tongue: One way to help you ease gag reflex is to put dab of table salt on your tongue. You have to moisten the tip of your finger first before actually putting the salt. Make sure that it is on the tip of the tongue. Do not forget to spit it.
These may look easy but it is not. With the right tool and attitude, you can subdue it. Do not forget to relax too as it can trigger gag reflex. Breathe and concentrate on the task. Good luck!