Suppressing the Gag Reflex

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Suppressing the Gag Reflex

The gag reflex can cause a patient considerable discomfort as well as interfere with dental procedures. An electrolyte tablet was developed based on the assumption that alteration of the neural transmission of the vagus and hypoglossal nerves would alter or reduce the gag reflex. It has been found that an electrolyte tablet administered and retained intraorally a few minutes before the start of a procedure can stop or suppress the gag reflex, allowing a mandibular block to be given with much greater ease, which further reduces gagging. Repeated experimentation over a six year period found that some electrolytes worked better than others, and that a tablet containing sodium, chloride, bicarbonate, calcium, and potassium was 98% effective.

Tablets can be prescribed for home use for patients who can not properly perform oral hygiene procedures due to the gagging problem. Severe gaggers may need to repeat a dose in 15 to 20 minutes. Some patients and dentists prefer to use troches or electrolyte lollipops.

Dent Today. 10(9):68-71

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