How to get rid of gag reflex? – Home remedies to suppress and stop

Flabbergasted by the uncontrollable gag reflex? We have the correct solution that will aid you to learn how you can get rid of gag reflex in babies and adults.


It is a common reaction in human body to avoid the passage of anything down the throat. It does not occur during normal swallowing. The technical name for it is pharyngeal reflex. It usually happens when something touches the soft palate present on roof of the mouth, resulting in a very strong impulsive response. It is an adaptation of human body, designed to avert choking. The gag reflex cranial nerve is called glossopharyngeal (IX). This involuntary contraction is designed to stop food or water from going down your windpipe. It is strong in healthy people. It is often used as a source to make someone vomit. It especially affects the unhealthy people and there are a number of home remedies and methods to suppress gag reflex.

Gag Triggers and Problems

Since a person does not have any control over gag reflex cranial nerve, it can occur at any time. It can be permanently caused by anything that excites the throat. Mucus, a sinus or a cold infection can make people gag. Irritation and swelling from a sore throat or allergies can also make it worse. Some other factors of gagging include anxiety or nausea. In people enduring sensitive gag reflexes, certain foods or pills can also trigger it. It is used to cause vomiting by stimulating vagus nerve in the throat. This arouses the vomit center of the brain, thus causing vomit. This can be a problem for people experiencing hyperactive gag reflex.

Get rid of gag reflex

gag reflexOne of the most annoying, irritating and uncomfortable feelings a person can experience is unwanted gagging. If not monitored, it can make the throat raw and sore. Sometimes, it may also result in laryngitis. It is body’s natural defense against choking. One third of the total number of healthy people, don’t even possess it. Auspiciously, there are some home remedies and ways to get rid of gag reflex or ease it down with procedures explained below:

1) Numb your soft palate: When something touches the soft palate present inside your mouth, use a numbing throat spray to soothe the palate. A normal gel that is used to get relief from tooth pain can also be used for getting rid of your gag reflex.

2) Dis-join or unbind your pharyngeal reflex: You can also reduce it by slowly engaging the soft palate in touching various things. This would accustom the soft palate to touch and will help you suppress gag reflex entirely. To perform this task, you first to need to identify the point from where it initiates. This can be easily done by just rubbing of the tooth brush on your tongue. The point closest to the front of the tongue, that makes you gag is the place you want to focus. Brush your tongue where the gag begins. It may get unpleasant at first but would diminish with time. Brush that area for about ten seconds. Do this procedure regularly and you will be able suppress gag reflex in no time.

3) Control gag reflex by relaxing:

Relaxation is another factor that can cause reduction. It is usually triggered by the amalgamation of psychology and physiology. You need to ease down your nerves and listen to music or sit in a calm environment. This will also lessen it by a large number

4) Exercise: Lift your legs up while sitting or lying down. Gagging can be stopped by tightening the abdominal muscles.

5) How to stop gag reflex by using thumb: Make a fist from your left hand and squeeze the thumb tight. This is also known as dentistry method.

6) How to control a gag reflex by using table salt: Take some table salt on your finger and dab it on the tongue. You can also put a teaspoon in a glass of water and rinse the mouth with it.

7) Hummm, when you feel an itch in your throat. It is quite difficult to have it and hummm at the same time.

Hyperactive Gag Reflex

A common reflex response initiated due to contraction of pharynx muscles, when posterior pharynx or soft palate is stimulated, is called hyperactive or overactive pharyngeal reflex. It occurs quite often when feeding children. But it becomes a major constraint when a person finds it challenging to eat certain food items or perform a task. It is very common among children and is generally considered as an eating disorder. If your children choke every time you try to feed them, this is probably due to it. Children experiencing such kind of eating disorder, refuse to intake solid foods or food with a certain texture to it. This creates a problem i.e. “How to feed children with overactive pharyngeal reflex”. This problem is not strictly associated with children but quite a number of adults are facing the same problem. So, they need to know how to cure pharyngeal reflex. Following are the ways that will relieve you from all the worries it has caused you.


There are no such causes in particular. It’s just resentment towards distinctive textures of food which induces an impulse reaction to it. There are some activities that require you to open the mouth for a long time. After opening the mouth for quite a long period and putting some food in it, gag can be caused. Mainly, it is caused after anything that brushes against the soft palate and stimulates it. This instinct helps prevent choking, and it serves a vital purpose during infancy. An example of this could be an adult getting a dental job done. Now, the person is required to open the mouth for quite some time. Also, there are some dental instruments and solutions that arouse the soft palate and intensify the feeling to it.

Suppress Hyperactive Pharyngeal Reflex in Adults

Hyperactive gag reflex in adults, puts restraints on some activities i.e. exercise, swimming, diving and excessive laughter. All these activities can lead to gag and may cause a person to involuntarily gag anywhere. And because it is your ‘reflex’, there is very little you can do about it. Controlling a gag reflex in babies or adults is possible but completely avoiding it isn’t.

Home remedies for adults

Given below are some home remedies that would assist you in controlling your pharyngeal reflex.

1. Place your finger on your tongue.

2. Move it slowly towards your throat until you feel it.

3. Stop your finger at that point and do not remove it.

4. After that, slowly take 4-5 long deep breaths through your mouth.

5. Now stop and take deep breaths from your nose.

6. Now switch back to the throat and continue to take deep breaths until the need for it abates.

7. Repeat the complete method again.

We are certain and hopeful that this method will surely help you stop gag reflex.

Hyperactive gag reflex in babies is a minor disorder and diminishes soon with time.

I hope you found these home remedies on how to stop gag reflex in babies and adults useful! Kindly share your feedback. :)



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Abdul Raheem

I am the owner of and I love to write content that provides basic solutions for people to get rid of problems :)

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