Strong Gag Reflex And Sedation

Call today to schedule your free dental consultation, with X-rays, (480) 493-0046.

Sedation dentistry can help if you have a strong gag reflex that makes it difficult to tolerate dental treatments and procedures.

Sometimes referred to as a “hyperactive” gag reflex, this condition can lead to and/or cause dental anxiety and nervousness.

You might feel your gag reflex triggered by everything from X-rays to a simple dental cleaning, from fillings to more complex dental procedures. You might even struggle to brush your teeth and/or your tongue, because of your strong gag reflex.

The gag reflex is a protective feature (think of it as a safety mechanism), designed to prevent swallowing toxic substances or choking. As soon as the gag reflex is touched, your throat muscles contract in an attempt to resist objects. You might struggle with your gag reflex because of where it’s positioned in your throat and/or because dental anxiety makes you susceptible to gagging.

Whatever the root causes of your severe gag reflex, sedation can help.

There are three main types of sedation for dentistry, and we’re one of the few dental offices in the Mesa and East Valley area to offer all three types.

Laughing gas (also known as nitrous oxide) can help you relax, which might be enough to allow you to receive treatment. Conscious sedation (also known as oral sedation) makes you less aware of what’s going on, which might also be enough. And with the highest level of sedation, IV sedation, you’re completely unconscious.

Which type of sedation is right for you? That depends on the severity of your gag reflex, the type of dental procedure, your dental history, and your medical history. The key is to find the mildest (but effective) form of sedation that will allow you to sail through your dental visits – without gagging and without nervousness or anxiety. In your free consultation, we can go over all the options and help you choose the best one.

If you have any questions about your gag reflex, common sedation side effects, or any other dental concern, please call (480) 493-0046, or e-mail

Please note: We accept most types of dental insurance and are preferred providers (in network) for: United Concordia, United Health Care, Cigna Dental, Aetna, Delta Dental, Guardian, Humana, and Metlife. Our dental office is in Mesa, at 2727 E McKellips, which is near Falcon Field and Red Mountain (just off the 202 Freeway and Gilbert).