Let’s talk gag reflex. For some of us, it’s much stronger than it is for others. Is it due to a weak stomach?
Nawhh … There are people who can change diapers all day long without gagging. (If you’ve ever done this for days on end, you know … you know … there are times when a gag would be completely acceptable.
Those same diaper-changing folks might hear the sound of retching and almost instantaneously find themselves dry-heaving in what one can only excuse as empathy. (You’re not empathetic, you’re completely grossed out … But empathy makes you sound kinder.)
Or maybe you’ve watched a toddler happily learning to feed himself. It’s so precious, isn’t it? Their chubby little hands are scooping the food off of their highchair tray and shoving it into an open mouth. Sweet.
Pretty soon they become more adept at grabbing their food off that tray. Instead of one little Cheerio making its way to their hungry mouth, it’s an entire Munchkins donut hole from Dunkin’.
That one is followed by another … and another. Soon, you’re not sure if your kid has learned a twisted game of chubby bunny, or what. You’ve tried cautioning your toddler. Boy, have you tried, but they are fast and very cute.
So, you watch knowingly as their eyes grow large and the gagging starts. Way too much food has been crammed into a small space and the gag reflex is doing its job. Wehoo.
You think, Thank you, Gag Reflex. You saved my kid from choking while simultaneously reminding me to be thankful for a washable tray.
Our gag reflexes are a blessing and a curse because some of them are much more sensitive and sometimes kick in at the most inconvenient times.
Guess what else stimulates the ol’ gag reflex? Dentures.
Why Do Dentures Stimulate the Gag Reflex?
That is a great question. Why the heck do dentures make you want to gag? No, we don’t mean seeing your Granny’s dentures soaking by the kitchen sink. We mean that dentures make people gag while they are wearing them. Doesn’t seem quite right.
That begs another question. Do your natural teeth make you gag? No. The answer to that question is no. Your natural teeth do not cause your gag reflex to activate.
So why on earth do your replacement teeth that are supposed to feel so natural cause you to do something that wouldn’t naturally happen? Well, in short, they shouldn’t. In a perfect world, dentures should not make you gag. But they sure do.
A brand new set of false teeth comes with many unpleasant side effects that you have to adapt to or overlook. Why would spitting and gagging be an acceptable side effect?
Just imagine having a conversation with your boss at work when you suddenly begin to spit and gag because of your new dentures. Sounds lovely. Maybe investing in bibs that you share with everyone who you speak to could be your new go-to move.
There, there … You shouldn’t stress because gagging with new dentures is pretty typical. It’s part of your new life as a denture-card-carrying adult.
Did that make you feel better? You are supposed to gag when wearing dentures. It’s just part of the process. Yay.
That is crazy talk. Next thing you know, you’ll be buying oceanfront property in Arizona.
What on earth is happening?!
Gagging is basically the opposite of swallowing. Rather than allowing any food or object to make its way through your digestive tract, your brain sends a signal out for your throat to shut it down. That should keep you from choking. While your pharynx contracts, your larynx responds by raising up to create a seal on the back of your mouth.
Our mouths are used to our natural teeth and the presence of our tongue. They grew in there and our bodies are just used to them. So, your gag reflex pays them no attention.
Despite what we may have been told about dentures, they are anything but natural. So putting this unnatural apparatus into our mouths and taking up space is a problem for the gag reflex.
In essence, it’s as if our gag reflex sees those dentures as the enemy and shouts, “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!” Then it tries to eject those pesky suckers and get them out of its territory.
The dentures have invaded the gag zone of your mouth. The roof of your mouth is your gag zone and dentures have a plate that covers the entire gag zone. It’s no wonder that they cause people to gag regularly.
As yourself this: Can I brush my back teeth without a hint of gagging? If you are a person who gags while brushing your teeth, then chances are that dentures are going to present a problem for you because you gag easier than most.
Your gag reflex may also be signaling another common problem with dentures. They don’t fit well. They are sitting way too far back in your mouth, and it is making your mouth and gag reflex very unhappy.
Many people who wear dentures may find that the plate of their dentures extends to the throat and constantly irritates and stimulates the gag reflex.
Unfortunately, your dentures are quite a bit bulkier than your natural teeth and they are covering your palate. Your palate is another area that is susceptible to triggering the gag reflex.
So What Can You Do if Your Dentures Are Literally Gagging You?
You will find all sorts of tips and tricks on the internet for controlling all that gagging. These are tips for helping you to gag less, not tips for making it stop entirely.
Here is part of the problem you are dealing with. You just had all of your teeth pulled. That’s a big deal. Your gums are in recovery mode. They are swollen and sore.
Now, you have a foreign appliance in your mouth sitting on top of those swollen, painful gums. That would not make anybody’s mouth happy! Your gag reflex is doing its job to remove the villain.
What’s more, your natural reaction to having dentures in your mouth is to produce an excessive amount of saliva. That’s one more thing that denture wearers are fighting against.
The first thing you can try is holding your tongue in a different position when you’re putting the dentures in your mouth. And then use your tongue to hold the dentures in place while they settle into place.
Your dentures may need to be relined because your jawbone has shrunk with age and deterioration. (Yes, dentures can contribute to your jawbone shrinking.)
Try distracting yourself while you place your dentures in your mouth. How are you supposed to distract yourself? Hmm … Maybe try watching a scary movie while you’re doing it? (Your guess is as good as ours on this one.)
Just give it time. You can try positive self-talk to force your mind to accept this foreign structure residing in your mouth. Yes. Do some sort of Jedi mind trick to convince yourself that you are indeed comfortable with that big piece of plastic in your mouth.
There you have it. Your options for dealing with gagging while wearing dentures. Basically, you will just need to deal with it and wish it away. Enter in wishful thinking.
How fun will that be? You have new teeth. That can make you gag … every day.
Get dental implants. Boom. Gagging problem solved. (And so many other problems, as well.)
Do you really want to deal with gagging and spitting because of something that is supposed to be improving the state of your mouth?
Your choice should not be to deal with the lesser of two evils. Nuvia implants can serve you well without all of the extra problems that dentures bring.
Our implants allow your teeth to be securely rooted in your mouth. They can truly become part of your mouth and feel like they belong there.
A Nuvia smile is a twenty-four-hour solution to give you the worry-free smile you deserve. Your teeth will not slip, slide, fall out, make you spit when you talk, or make you gag.
Your gag reflex is a natural response to something touching the back of your throat. It’s a good thing because it keeps us from choking or swallowing things when we don’t want to. It also helps us to vomit when our bodies need to get rid of something that should no longer be contained inside.
So, don’t blame yourself if you are gagging from wearing dentures. It’s not your fault.
Implants will not give you this problem. Your mouth will be stable with a Nuvia smile. Nothing is touching the back of your throat or covering your palate causing your gag reflex to kick in.
Our goal at Nuvia is to give you a beautiful permanent smile in twenty-four hours. Not months. Not weeks. Not even days. Just one day to change your smile and improve your quality of life.
In the End …
Most of us have felt our gag reflex at some point in our lives. It’s how our bodies were created with a bit of fail-safe. In other words, it’s natural to have a working gag reflex.
How strongly our gag reflexes respond to stimuli varies from person to person. That’s just part of life. Sometimes we’re triggered by a smell or a sound, sometimes it’s the sight of something we find disgusting, and sometimes it’s just the thought of something that grosses us out.
You don’t have to suffer through a new smile because your dentures are making you gag. You have another option. Frankly, you have an option that should never cause you to gag. You have an option that doesn’t require wishful thinking!
Please check us out for a free online evaluation. We are here to help you! We want you to have a smile you can be proud of without worrying about any frustrating side effects.
Our passion is helping you have the best smile possible.
So, before you do anything that involves dentures, we want to talk to you. Our knowledgeable staff will listen to you, answer your questions, and give you the accurate information you need to make the best decision for your health.
Remember, having a smile you are proud of isn’t just about your oral health, it eliminates headaches, frustration, and embarrassment. That means a worry-free smile is good for you mentally, too!
Please, put down the denture brochure and give us a call before you do something that will really make you gag.