Does this make me Lady Gag?
March 6, 2011 4:24 AM Subscribe
Why do I gag when I brush the teeth at the back of my mouth? More importantly, how can I stop it? Possibly NSFWeak stomachs.
posted by malibustacey9999 to health & fitness (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've never had an issue with gagging while teeth-brushing until a couple of years ago.
I had terrible teeth until about 5 years ago, when I was 37-ish. I was then financially able to have them fixed so I had a lot of cosmetic work done, and had a couple of panic attacks in the chair when I had a latex mask thing covering other teeth to protect the one which was being worked on.
(The dentist was very understanding of my panic attacks - stopping work immediately, putting the chair upright, asking if I wanted the assistant to hold my hand - so I don't think it's some sort of PTSD thing.)
He suggested warming the toothbrush under the hot tap, saying maybe it was the shock of the cold water that triggered my gagging. I tried warming the toothbrush, it made no difference. To be honest, it probably made it worse. He has no other suggestions.
I've tried sending my mind elsewhere while I brush, which works but I don't think my teeth are being cleaned effectively while I'm mentally on a Fijian beach. I've found it's easier if I - forgive me if this is too graphic - go with the flow, instead of fighting the urge to gag, I let it happen. Usually I just dry-retch, but a couple of times it has gone to the point where I had to clean out the basin and I don't want my kids brushing their teeth where their mother has recently puked. I know it's clean, but it's just... icky.
I've also tried different toothbrush shapes and different toothpastes. And the only other thing that makes me gag is hearing someone else vomit, or a particular joke involving a spitoon. I have a pretty strong stomach, otherwise.
So, how can I conquer this? I want all my teeth to be smooth and sparkling clean, not just the ones at the front.