Here’s a potential solution for patients who are always nervous and anxious in a dentist’s chair: researchers in Italy found that acupuncture reduced the likelihood of gagging among patients having impressions taken of their upper and lower teeth. In this small study – only 20 dental patients with a history of gag reflex took part – participants ranging in age 19 to 80 had teeth impressions taken under normal circumstances. They then had the procedure repeated with acupuncture. The first time around, the patients reported an average gag reflex for upper teeth impressions of 7 on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 representing the most nausea and gagging. With acupuncture, the average score was 1 on the 0 to 10 scale. The results for impressions of the lower teeth were similar. The needles were inserted at acupuncture points on the face and wrist about 30 seconds before the impressions were taken. Because this study was so small, the findings will have to be confirmed by further research before they can be widely accepted or considered in clinical practice. The study was published online on November 5, 2013 by the journal Acupuncture in Medicine.