Dental Advice for the Sweet Tooth

Hey! I'm Frankie, and welcome to my dental advice blog. I'm a foodie and I love sweet treats, but I also love my teeth! It can be hard to keep your dental health in top condition when you've got a sweet tooth, but it's not impossible. Over the years, I've learned tons of great advice from friends, family members and dentists, and I'd love to share it with you. My blog is here to give you all the tips and tricks you need to stay free of decay and other tooth problems without giving up all your favourite foods and snacks.

Gagging with Dentures? How to Stop the Gag Reflex While Wearing Your Dentures

Dentist Blog

Whether you have a full or partial denture it may take you several weeks or months before you get used to wearing it. Along with learning to eat and speak with your dentures in, you may also find that your dentures cause you to gag whenever you put them in. Not only is this extremely uncomfortable, but it can also cause untold embarrassment in social situations.

So how do you overcome this issue so that you can get on with your life and start using your denture more often? Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to control your gag reflex while wearing dentures. To begin, find out why dentures cause the gag reflex in the first place.

Why Dentures Cause a Gag Reflex

Also referred to as the laryngeal spasm, the gag reflex is triggered when something touches the roof of your mouth, the back of your tongue, or the area of your throat near the tonsils. This reflex is your body's natural defence against choking. However, while wearing an upper denture, the denture plate comes into contact with the roof of your mouth, causing you to gag involuntarily.

How You Can Help Yourself

As you adjust to life with your new dentures, you'll need to learn a few tricks to help overcome common denture problems.

1. Keep a Throat Numbing Spray Handy: Throat numbing sprays are generally used to numb the pain of sore throats. However, they can also be used to numb your soft palate and prevent the gag reflex. Before you go somewhere wearing your dentures, spray a little over the counter throat numbing spray on your palate. Also, keep some with you just in case, so you can pop to the bathroom and apply a little spray in awkward situations.

2. Gradually Train Yourself not to Gag: Each morning and night, train yourself not to gag by locating and massaging the area which usually causes you to gag while wearing your denture. Your soft palate and the back of your tongue are the two main areas you should focus on. Use a soft bristled tooth brush and your finger, taking care to ensure that both are clean first. It may take a while, but you'll eventually desensitize the area and the gagging reflex should lessen or disappear altogether when wearing your denture.

How Your Dentist Can Help You

If you still struggle to control your gag reflex despite doing the above, your dentist should be able to help you. Explain the situation to your dentist and they may be able to:

  • thin the denture plate down
  • shorten the denture so it doesn't extend so far back toward your throat
  • re-line the denture so it fits more snugly

Overall, you shouldn't suffer in silence. Don't forget that your dentist also has a responsibility to ensure that your dentures are as comfortable as they can be.


14 June 2017