New dentures or partials can take time to get used to. Unfortunately, until you are accustomed to the feel of the dentures in your mouth, you can experience gagging. Gagging is considered to be a natural response to the dentures, but it can sometimes be an indication of other problems. If you are experiencing gagging, here is what you need to know.

What Causes Gagging?

The gagging some denture wearers experience is the result of the glossopharyngeal or vagus nerve being stimulated by the dentures. The nerves are part of the system that your body has in place to keep you from choking. When the dentures comes into contact or is near the nerves, the gag reflex is triggered.

For some people, the urge to gag goes away as they become accustomed to wearing the dentures. At some point, your mind stops identifying the dentures as a foreign object and the gagging stops.

How Can You Avoid Gagging?

Unfortunately, there is very little you can do to avoid gagging. However, there are things you can do to speed up the process of adapting to your dentures. For instance, practice speaking while wearing the dentures.

You also should avoid putting more adhesive on the dentures than recommended. Too much adhesive can ooze out the borders of the dentures and trigger the gagging reflex.

What if the Gagging Continues?

Ideally, you should become accustomed to your dentures or partials within a few weeks. However, if you do not and the gagging continues, a more serious problem might exist.

It is possible that the palate of the dentures is too long. If it is, your dentist can trim back the palate to reduce the amount of contact that it has with the roof of your mouth. As a result, the gagging should stop. It is important to note that trimming back the palate by too much can compromise the dentures. The palate helps to provide the suction needed for the dentures to remain securely in your mouth.  

Another option your dentist has is to make a palateless denture. There is very little contact with upper roof of the mouth, but it is not as secure as a denture with a palate.

Consult with clinics like Advanced Dental Professionals if you experience any other problems with the dentures. Your dentist can assess the issue and provide you with a solution that will help you more comfortably wear the dentures.