Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Jade Roberts
Whether you are a seasoned denture wearer or you are breaking in your first set, a new pair of dentures can be challenging in the beginning. In some cases, they may cause you to gag from time to time. If you are looking for a solution to the “Dentures make me gag” issue, then read on as we will explore why it happens, how to treat it, and what to do if the gagging persists.
Why Do Dentures Make Me Gag?
Gagging from dentures is not uncommon. It is considered a side effect of new dentures. The gag reflex comes from the feeling of having something unnatural inside your mouth.
Let’s break this down a little further. The space inside your mouth is quite honestly confined. Up until this point, your body has been used to that space being filled with your tongue and teeth only.
However, once you slide in your dentures, your body reacts. The dentures may be interpreted by your body as a blockage of some kind. When this happens, it triggers the gag reflex in an attempt to clear that blockage.
While this makes perfect sense, how are you going to live with a denture gag reflex that happens each time you wear your false teeth? Well, there are solutions.
How To Stop Gagging From Dentures
Reducing the denture gag reflex depends on if you are new to dentures or if you have been wearing them for years. Here is a look at how each type of denture wearer can combat the situation.
If You Are New To Wearing Dentures
If you have not worn dentures before, you have probably noticed that from the beginning of this new adventure that your mouth has been salivating somewhat more than usual. Your gums may also be a bit swollen if you have had recent extractions. Both of these factors are going to trigger your gag reflex as your body identifies that there is a foreign object in your mouth. Once the swelling reduces and your mouth gets used to the feeling of the dentures, the gag reflex should relax.
Keep in mind, all of this will occur in the first few weeks that you are getting accustomed to wearing dentures and the extra responsibility that comes from that.
One way to help your body get used to the dentures is to hold your tongue in different positions when inserting false teeth. Maybe use your tongue as a stabilizer holding the dentures in place. Eventually, your mouth will understand that your dentures belong there, and the gagging from dentures will end.
If You Are An Experienced Denture Wearer
The primary reason for experienced denture wearers to encounter gagging is because there have been changes in their facial structure. As you age, the shape of your gums and jaw changes but the dentures do not. It is not uncommon to have dentures for a few years that were a snug fit at first but are loose or just don’t feel right anymore. The movement of loose dentures can trigger the gag reflex making it uncomfortable to wear dentures for long periods.
The easiest way to correct this problem is to either get new dentures or have your current ones relined. Denture relining is a process that your dental professional can do in their office. There are also DIY denture relining options.
Essentially, the relining involves adding more material to the dentures to ensure a tighter fit on your gum line. If your dentures do not require relining, you can reduce the amount of slippage by applying a dental adhesive to the dentures to hold them in place.
What If My Dentures Make Me Gag Still?
The simple answer is to schedule a visit with your dental care team to discuss options. There is a possibility that your mouth has changed shape enough that your dentures are a little too wide for your mouth and need a slight trim. Or there may be other options to dentures you may wish to consider. This could include false teeth options such as dental implants that have anchors preventing movement from triggering your gag reflex.
Talk to your dental professional for specific advice on the best option for you.
No one wants to experience gagging at any time. It is even more uncomfortable when it is triggered by dentures. Although first-time denture wearers require a period of adjustment, gagging should not persist after that timeframe has passed. The same applies to seasoned denture wearers with a new set of dentures. Once some time for getting used to your new dentures has passed, the “dentures make me gag” issue should slowly resolve itself.
However, if you experience ongoing gagging from dentures you have worn for longer than just a few weeks, you may want to see your dental care professional for assistance in treating the situation.