Creating Waves of Awareness
Nausea during tooth brushing (Hyperactive gag reflex) and Homoeopathy
© Dr. Rajneesh Kumar Sharma MD (Homoeopathy)
Dr. Swati Vishnoi BHMS
Dr. Deepika Vishvakarma BHMS
Many people experience severe nausea and even vomiting during brushing their teeth, especially in morning (Psora). This often leads them to be scared of cleansing the mouth and teeth. This condition frequently becomes the most common cause of improper dental/ oral hygiene, which leads to a number of oral morbid conditions like tartar, bad breath (halitosis), pyorrhea alveolaris, gingivitis, glossitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, aphthae, dental carries, dental abscess and fistulae, leucoplakia, cancer etc.
The cause of nausea and even vomiting during teeth brushing or mouth rinsing is hyperactive or exaggerated gag reflex (Psora).
Synonyms- pharyngeal reflex, gag reflex, laryngeal spasm
Body's response to the stimulation of soft palate or posterior pharynx is called as gag reflex. The gag reflex is a protective response that prevents foreign objects or noxious material from entering the pharynx, larynx, or trachea; it is not elicited during a normal swallow (Psora).
It is common with all humans, but it becomes a problem when it becomes hyperactive as an individual finds it difficult to eat certain foods or perform certain activity like tooth brushing. It is a frequent feeding disorder in children. If baby throws up and chokes every time during having certain foods, it could be due to hyperactive gag reflex (Psora). Children with this disorder just refuse to take solid foods or foods with particular consistency.
The irritation caused to the pharynx by touching the palate, posterior part of tongue or uvula, always, without fail, evokes a disgusting feeling of nausea and even creates vomiting. There are different levels of sensitivity in different individuals with regards to causes and degree of gag reflex. (Psora)
Gagging is a natural phenomenon which is meant to prevent anything, which is not part of the natural eating and swallowing process, from entering the throat in order to keep the person from choking by obstruction of the respiratory tract. However, gagging may be artificially induced by sticking one's finger inside the mouth, far down the throat, to orally expel food that was recently eaten (Causa occasionalis). This method is widely used by bulimics, who frequently induce vomiting this way soon after eating.
Whenever, any strange substance enters the throat and touches the soft palate, the back of the throat contracts and a feeling of about to vomit develops (Psora). There is a palatal reflex, consisting of upward movement of the soft palate with ipsilateral deviation of the uvula and a pharyngeal response consisting of visible contraction of the pharyngeal wall. Lesser response include medical movement, tensing, or corrugation of the pharyngeal wall. In addition there may be a head withdrawal, eye watering, coughing, and retching (Psora). The gag reflex involves a brisk and brief elevation of the soft palate and bilateral contraction of pharyngeal muscles evoked by touching the posterior pharyngeal wall or the soft palate.
The glossopharyngeal nerve fibers pick up the sensation whenever an unnaturally large amount of food is swallowed or something other than food is attempted to be pushed down the throat. These nerve fibers transmit the gag sensations to the solitary tract and spinal trigeminal nuclei. Finally, these signals reach the brain which sends back instructions, in the form of electric pulses and chemical signals, back to the pharyngeal nerves to contract and cause such invasive objects to be expelled.
The afferent limb of the reflex area is the glossopharyngeal nerve, the efferent limb in the glossopharyngeal and vagus nerve. Hence individual or combined lesions of the glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves depress the gag reflex, as in neurogenic bulbar palsy.
Hyperactive gag reflex is characterized by high sensitivity levels in the pharyngeal nerves and adjacent area of certain individuals which leads to elicitation of gag reflex at the slightest instance (Psora).
The most common causes are-
Fundamentally, anything that brushes against the soft palate and stimulates it, results in a gag. Some pathological conditions that produce gag reflex abnormalities are-
This is also called as lateral medullary syndrome or posterior inferior cerebellar artery syndrome and is a neurological condition caused by a blockage of the vertebral artery (VA) or posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA), ultimately leading to infarction of the lateral medulla. Stroke occurring in this region of the brainstem often leads to motor, sensory, cognitive, perceptual, speech and language deficits. (Psora/ Sycosis/ Syphilis)
This involves the brain stem. Signs and symptoms of bulbar palsy include difficulty swallowing, weak jaw and facial muscles, progressive loss of speech, and weakening of the tongue. (Psora/ Syphilis)
It may cause lack of facial control, droopy eyelids, double vision, headache or headache that gets better after vomiting, nausea and vomiting, weakness and fatigue. Seizures. Balance problems. Numbness in face. (Psora/ Sycosis/ Syphilis)
Bulbar muscle weakness is common in MG along with weakness of head extension and flexion. (Syphilis)
It causes vertigo or headaches which are followed by the hallmarks of BAO, including decreased consciousness, quadriparesis, pupillary and oculomotor abnormalities, dysarthria, and dysphagia. (Psora/ Sycosis)
It often causes temporary confusion and memory loss, especially in the elderly as well as dizziness, difficulty passing urine, bruising or soreness from the IV drip, nausea and vomiting, shivering and feeling cold, sore throat due to the breathing tube etc. (Causa occasionalis)
Hence there is a variability of response in different individuals, some studies claim the reflex is absent in many normal individuals especially with increasing age, without evident functional impairment. Some others find it in all healthy individuals, although variable stimulus intensity is require to elicit it.
Once beginning to gag, one must try to brush that area for about 10 seconds even while he starts feeling gagging. This process is quite unpleasant, but training not to gag naturally involves some gagging. Brushing should be stopped when gagging is unavoidable. Repeated trainings may help. Training to breathe through nose, instead of mouth while brushing, may avoid triggering the gag reflex.
abies-n. acon. agar. all-c. all-s. ars-i. benz-ac. borx. bry. cadm-s. calc-p. Carb-v. Chin. chinin-s. Coc-c. cocc. colch. cop. crot-c. crot-h. cyt-l. dig. dulc. euphr. Kali-c. kali-chl. Lyc. merc. nat-m. nux-v. olib-sac. par. phos. podo. ruta sep. spong. stann. staph. tritic-vg. vanil. verat.
EXTREMITIES - TENSION - Shoulders - brushing the teeth, while phos.
STOMACH – GAGGING abies-n. acon. agar. benz-ac. borx. bry. cadm-s. calc-p. Carb-v. Chin. chinin-s. colch. cop. dulc. Kali-c. kali-chl. Lyc. nux-v. olib-sac. par. Podo. ruta stann. tritic-vg. vanil.
STOMACH - NAUSEA - brushing the teeth; on all-c. all-s. ars-i. crot-c. crot-h. merc. nat-m.
STOMACH - VOMITING - brushing teeth, on Coc-c.
THROAT - CONSTRICTION - accompanied by - gagging verat.
VERTIGO - ACCOMPANIED BY - Stomach – gagging cyt-l.
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