No gag reflex meaning
The gag reflex, also known as the pharyngeal reflex or laryngeal spasm, is a contraction of the back of the throat triggered by an object touching the roof of your mouth, the back of your tongue, the area around your tonsils, or the back of your throat. The reflex helps prevent choking, as well as helping to moderate the transition from liquid to solid foods during infancy. By thrusting objects in the throat toward the opening of the mouth, the gag reflex expels substances that the brain has deemed harmful. In the first few months of a baby's life, this reflex is triggered by any food that a region of the brain stem called the "nucleus tractus solitaries" which is wired to nerve endings in the mouth judges to be too chunky for a baby's stomach to digest. Starting around the 6- or 7-month mark in babies, the gag reflex diminishes, allowing a baby to swallow chunky or solid foods.
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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Gag Reflex
Gag Reflex Medical Definition | Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary
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How the Gag Reflex Works
A gag reflex occurs in the back of your mouth and is triggered when your body wants to protect itself from swallowing something foreign. You may experience a sensitive gag reflex when visiting the dentist or doctor for a routine checkup or procedure, or even when trying to swallow a pill. There are several methods you can try to prevent your gag reflex from interfering with your overall health. Gagging is the opposite of swallowing. When you gag, two different parts at the back of your mouth work to close off entry to your throat: Your pharynx contracts, and your larynx pushes up.
The gag reflex, also called the pharyngeal reflex, is a contraction of the throat that happens when something touches the roof of your mouth, the back of your tongue or throat, or the area around your tonsils. This reflexive action helps to prevent choking and keeps us from swallowing potentially harmful substances. Some people have an overly sensitive gag reflex that can be triggered by things such as anxiety, postnasal drip, or acid reflux. Keep reading to learn more about your gag reflex and what causes it.
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