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How to Avoid Gagging with Dentures

Putting anything in your mouth has the potential to cause gagging, which is a fundamental instinct designed to keep us from swallowing inappropriate objects. Many people experience gagging as a result of putting dentures in their mouth, but in most cases this is avoidable.

Short-Term Gagging

dreamstime_xs_17523451Many times, the worst gagging occurs during the taking of impressions for dentures. The good news is that this is just a one-time thing for each set of dentures. The bad news is that it can be bad enough that it makes it hard to successfully take impressions. For people with bad gagging during the taking of impressions, there are multiple options to help alleviate the problem, from sedation dentistry to acupuncture.

Other times, people may experience gagging during the adaptation process. This is pretty normal, too, because you are putting something in your mouth that your body knows isn’t food, and isn’t adapted to. Give yourself time to get used to your dentures. If you feel like you’ve adapted to your dentures in other ways, but still have problems with gagging, or if gagging is so severe it prevents you from adapting, it may have to be addressed.

Serious and Long-Term Gagging

People with serious or long-term gagging from dentures usually complain about the contact the upper denture makes with the roof of the mouth. Many ask to have the upper denture trimmed to reduce the contact surface, but this will reduce the security of the upper dentures, but it can be done.

If enough of the upper denture is cut away, the security of the denture might be compromised. Often, though we can make a palateless denture, which gives reasonable security. In other cases, it may be necessary to use dental implants to secure the denture.

It’s worth noting, though, that many people who experience gagging with dentures over the long term have their tongues in a retracted position, and may be able to get a more comfortable fit if they learn to put their tongue in a normal position.

Gagging When You Put Dentures in

This is another problem. People often experience gagging when they put their dentures in. This may be due to an improper technique. Work with your dentist to make sure you’re putting your dentures in properly to minimize this effect.

Other times, this can be due to psychological factors rather than physical ones. If you find yourself focusing on certain thoughts or ideas before you put your dentures in, or if anxiety or nervousness about your dentures seems to worsen gagging, there are many therapeutic approaches that can help.

Better Fitting Dentures Can Help

But if you’ve tried all these things, and you’re still experiencing gagging, it may actually be that your dentures aren’t very well made. Especially if you’ve gotten cheap dentures, investing in better dentures may help you feel more comfortable. To learn about better-fitting dentures, please contact a local FOY® Dentures dentist today.

By |October 27th, 2014|Uncategorized|

About the Author:

This post was written by Rod Strickland. Dr. Strickland is a dentist in Savannah, GA. He is the inventor of the Denture Fountain of Youth® technique.