Have you ever found yourself throwing up after brushing your teeth? It’s a common experience that can be quite unpleasant, leaving you feeling nauseous and uneasy. While it may seem like a strange and inexplicable phenomenon, there are several reasons why this can happen. In this article, we will be delving into the possible causes of vomiting while brushing your teeth and what you can do to prevent it.
Reasons Why You Might Throw Up After Brushing Your Teeth
Throwing up after brushing your teeth can occur due to several factors. Some of the most common include:
- Taste and Smell Sensitivity – Certain toothpaste flavors and smells can trigger a feeling of nausea and vomiting, especially if you are sensitive to strong tastes and odors. The minty taste and aroma found in most toothpaste brands seem to cause this reaction in many people.
- Pregnancy – If you are pregnant, you are more likely to experience nausea and vomiting, especially in the first few months of your pregnancy. Brushing your teeth, which stimulates your gag reflex, can exacerbate this condition.
- Gastrointestinal Disorders – People with gastrointestinal issues such as acid reflux, GERD, and ulcerative colitis may experience nausea and vomiting while brushing their teeth as a result of stomach acid build-up in their throat.
- Motion Sickness – If you’re prone to motion sickness, the act of brushing your teeth can simulate the sensation of motion and trigger vomiting.
- Anxiety and Stress – Anxiety and stress can cause a range of physical symptoms, including nausea and vomiting. If you suffer from anxiety or stress, brushing your teeth might aggravate the condition and lead to vomiting.
What to Do If You Experience Vomiting While Brushing Your Teeth
If you find yourself throwing up after brushing your teeth frequently, there are some steps you can take to reduce the chances of this happening:
- Try a different toothpaste: If you think that the taste or smell of your toothpaste is causing the reaction, consider switching to a different flavor or brand.
- Use a smaller amount of toothpaste: If you’re using too much toothpaste, the flavor and smell might be too overpowering, triggering the gag reflex. Try using less toothpaste and see if it helps.
- Brush slowly and gently: Brushing too hard or too fast can stimulate your gag reflex, leading to vomiting. Brush slowly and gently, taking breaks in between strokes if necessary.
- Breathe through your nose: Breathing through your nose while brushing your teeth can help reduce the chance of vomiting. This is because the mouth-taste is toned down when you breathe through your nose.
- Take an anti-nausea medication: If you experience vomiting regularly, you may want to speak with your doctor about taking over-the-counter anti-nausea medication.
- Take a break: If you still can’t avoid vomiting while brushing your teeth, consider taking a break for a while and trying again later. You may also want to wash your face and mouth with water and gargle with water after vomiting to help reduce irritation to the sensitive soft organs in your mouth and throat.
When to See a Doctor
While vomiting after brushing your teeth is generally not a serious condition, there are instances where you should seek medical help. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should consult your doctor:
- New or unusual symptoms accompanying vomiting, such as fever or abdominal pain
- Experiencing vomiting frequently even after taking preventive measures
- Having trouble controlling vomiting when it occurs
- Blood in vomit or an unusual coloration
- Difficulty breathing after throwing up
- Severe dehydration or weakness as a results of frequent vomiting.
While throwing up after brushing your teeth is not a pleasant experience, it is not an unusual one, and no, it is not entirely unusual either. There are several reasons why it can happen, and by using specific preventive measures, you may be able to reduce the chances of it occurring frequently. Remember to consult your doctor if you experience other accompanying vomiting symptoms.
1. Why do I throw up when I brush my teeth?
Throwing up while brushing your teeth can occur due to several factors such as taste and smell sensitivity, pregnancy, gastrointestinal disorders, motion sickness, and anxiety and stress.
2. What can I do if I experience vomiting while brushing my teeth?
You can try using a different toothpaste flavor or brand, using a smaller amount of toothpaste, brushing slowly and gently, breathing through your nose while brushing, or taking an anti-nausea medication. If your symptoms persist, consult your doctor.
3. When should I see a doctor about vomiting while brushing my teeth?
If you experience new or unusual symptoms accompanying vomiting, experience vomiting frequently even after taking preventive measures, have trouble controlling vomiting when it occurs, have blood in vomit or an unusual coloration, difficulty breathing after throwing up, or severe dehydration or weakness due to frequent vomiting, you should consult a doctor.
- American Pregnancy Association. (2015). Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy. Retrieved from http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/nausea-during-pregnancy/
- Mayo Clinic. (2020). GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/symptoms-causes/syc-20361940
- NYU Langone Health. (2020). Motion Sickness. Retrieved from https://nyulangone.org/conditions/motion-sickness-in-adults
- University of Michigan Health. (2019). Stress Management for Nausea and Vomiting. Retrieved from https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uf9970