My Dentures Make Me Gag, What Do I Do?
A new set of dentures can come with their challenges, most of which can be easily overcome with practice or a simple adjustment. Sometimes, dentures can stimulate the gag reflex, which can make eating and speaking difficult.
Are you experiencing gagging with your dentures? Don’t stress. Gagging is a common side effect of new dentures — it may take some time for your mouth to become accustomed to your teeth.
What Causes the Gag Reflex?
For most people, the tongue and teeth have occupied the same confined space since birth. Your body has become well-adjusted to the feeling of your tongue and teeth in your mouth — naturally, they don’t trigger your gag reflex.
However, dentures are an unnatural structure that take up much of the limited space available in your mouth. Your body may interpret dentures as a blockage and trigger your gag reflex.
Gagging can be a sign that the dentures sit too far back in the mouth. Although gagging is more common in upper dentures, it can also occur in patients with lower dentures.
How Can I Stop Gagging With Dentures?
New Denture Users
If your dentures are new, your mouth will likely respond by salivating more than usual. Your gums may also be swollen if you’ve recently had teeth extracted. These factors can contribute to your dentures triggering your gag reflex as your body detects a foreign object.
As the swelling goes down and your mouth becomes familiar with the feeling of dentures, you should experience less gagging.
If this sounds like you, remember that there is a period of a few weeks where your dentures may feel a little strange at first — with daily practice and consistency, they should begin to feel more comfortable as your body adjusts to the feeling of dentures.
Try holding your tongue in different places when you insert your dentures. You tongue can also be used to stabilize your dentures while they settle into place.
Make sure you schedule regular visits to your Denturist to ensure the denture is fitting properly as your mouth heals and adjusts.
Experienced Denture Users
Experienced denture users may experience gagging as a result of changes in their facial structure. Without the stimulation of your natural teeth, your jaw bone begins to shrink. This means that you may have to get your dentures relined occasionally to accommodate the changes in your jaw.
Denture relines are to be expected over the life of your dentures. You can also try denture adhesives to help keep your dentures in place, and prevent them from triggering your gag reflex.
What To Do If The Gagging Persists
As always, visit your Denturist if any problem persists. Gagging can often be resolved with a simple adjustment or trim.
Dentures over implants can also offer a long term solution to issues with comfort or fit. Dental implants give your teeth an anchor point — preventing them from slipping, sliding, and falling out.
If you’re struggling with gagging or any other issue with your dentures, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our Red Deer office. Our team of professionals can answer your questions and provide solutions to make life with dentures as comfortable as possible.