General Question

Snarp's avatar

Why do I gag when brushing my teeth in the morning?

Asked by Snarp (11181 points ) January 25th, 2010

But not at night. It’s something about the toothpaste, and feeling it near my throat, but even if I push it all forward the gag reflex just seems to be going overboard. Sometimes I’m afraid I’ll throw up. But this is the only time it happens. Any thoughts?

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24 Answers

Steve_A's avatar

Your muscles may not be relaxed/ready in the morning as your body is still waking up and stretching say compared to night time.

Just a thought.

cookieman's avatar

Phlegm my friend. Phlegm is the culprit.

When you’re laying flat at night, phlegm builds up in your throat. This is sometimes exasperated by dryness in the air. At least this is what happens to me. I have the same issue.

Two things help me.
• Run a humidifier at night
• Drink a bottle of water as soon as I wake up

knitfroggy's avatar

I gag every morning when I brush. I have always chocked it up to the toothpaste. I’ve tried many different kinds and they all make me wanna throw up.

Snarp's avatar

@cprevite I have often thought that it had to do with mucous somehow, generally with thicker mucous in my mouth. But I’ve used a humidifier, and I always drink plenty of water first thing when I wake up, I even take a nice steamy shower before I brush. To no avail.

BoBo1946's avatar

gag only when brushing my tongue! does anyone here brush their tongue and gums?

vote of cprevite answer!

Steve_A's avatar

@BoBo1946 I brush my tongue, its my understanding, specially in the back of the tongue where a lot of bad breathe comes from.

and gums need cleaning too.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Steve_A yeah, me too…a must!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Maybe it has more to do with how you look first thing in the morning. I assume you’re looking at a mirror while you brush your teeth, right?

Yeah, me too.

Snarp's avatar

@CyanoticWasp LOL.

@BoBo1946 I always brush my gums and tongue, but that’s not what makes me gag. It’s the toothpaste itself moving around in my mouth.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Snarp think Cprevite has the answer…

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Use a toothbrush instead of a scrub brush ;))

cookieman's avatar

I too brush my tongue.

@Snarp: My wife actually finds a hot steamy shower makes her phlegm worse as it opens up her sinuses.

She’ll then try to brush her teeth and gag like a cat with a hairball.

Snarp's avatar

@cprevite Hmm. Interesting.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

Maybe it could be the bodys natural intelligence reacting to the toxins in our toothpastes now. Flouride, Sodium Laurel Sulfates, chemicals, artificial flavorings and sweeteners and FDA approved poisons… etc…. Your body wants to make sure you don’t swallow it. ......Maybe even cavity producing chemicals-would not surprise me.

MissAnthrope's avatar

GQ.. this happens to me, too.. I have to wait until after coffee and after I’ve woken up. Toothpaste in my mouth any earlier than that totally makes me almost hurl. :\

BoBo1946's avatar

@Snarp how to ask…any improvements this morning with all this GREAT advise? lol

Snarp's avatar

@BoBo1946 Well, I’ve tried the humidifier and the water before to no effect, but nevertheless I haven’t really had time to implement any changes in my routine. Oddly enough I didn’t really gag much this morning anyway.

Zen_Again's avatar

You know how you get these memory flashes out of the blue once in a while. One of mine is of a really nice Dental Hygienist from when I was young, asking me (for the first time) whether I gagged when brushing. Because I replied no, I never learned what she would have said. Since then, I do find myself gagging from time to time. A friend of mine said to switch toothpaste. It’s true, I find I gag more from the colgate brands then others.

Snarp's avatar

@Zen_Again You got my hopes up that I was going to hear some fantastic answer from the hygienist, then dashed my hopes with cold reality.

Oh well, I’ve just stopped brushing in the morning since I no longer have time for breakfast. Problem solved.

Zen_Again's avatar

@Snarp I actually keep a toothbrush and mini-toothpaste (from hotels) with me and brush after meals, including breakfast, when on the run.

Snarp's avatar

@Zen_Again I really should at least keep one at work.

Hkavvi's avatar

Ever since I can remember I have been gagging every single time I brush my teeth. It does not matter what time of day. It does not matter what brand of toothpaste but the colgate type brands tend to do the worst damage. It does not matter what type of toothbrush I use or weather it is in the shower or just on its own. The point is that I gag. I can brush the front parts of my teeth just fine, and nothing else makes me gag. But the minute that the toothpaste gets far enough to the back of my throat I gag uncontrollably and almost to the point where I could at any moment throw up. Its more of a dry heave when I gag. Painful.

I have no idea what is going on. I will never really understand it. Brushing my tongue? Impossible I can brush just the front tip and even then I gag. Nothing else makes me gag. Just toothpaste what is the deal?

I’m so glad I am not the only person with this problem. It is really bothering me and I don’t know what to do about it.

Jerog's avatar

I have the same problem. I changed to sensodyne toothpaste and I gargle with warm water.
It relieves the problem. When you go out and you still have mucus in your throat get some Fisherman’s Friend tablets from the drug store. Not all drug stores carry it but you can find it at Walgreen for sure.

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