The gag reflex is both an essential part of the body keeping itself safe, and an occasional issue for some people. Gagging keeps the body from swallowing whatever it had been going to. It is the convulsion of muscles in one’s throat, triggered by stimuli, whether that be the sensation of something unpleasant, or a foreign or gross object in one’s mouth. Some people have a more sensitive gag reflex, which can lead to vomiting. While completely normal, there are things one can do to decrease gagging.
- Swallowing is the polar opposite of gagging. When you gag, two separate sections of your mouth work together to block access to your throat: Your larynx moves up, and your pharynx contracts.
- Gagging is common in children under the age of four. They gag more often as their oral functions mature, and they usually outgrow it by their fourth birthday.
- There isn’t always a distinction between the two forms of gagging. Gagging can be triggered by physical contact, but it can also be triggered by the sight, sound, smell, or thought of an object.
“Gagging is a natural reaction that you can or may not have as an adult.”