The Official Blog of Dr. Joe Kravitz, DDS, MS

How to Stop Gagging From Your Upper Denture

Denture tips to avoid gagging

Image Source: AgingCare.com

Ahh! UHHH!! OOAhhh!!! If you wear an upper removable complete denture, you’ve experienced the discomfort firsthand and can relate to these sounds.

The gag reflex is also known as the pharyngeal reflex. Gagging is induced by stimulating either the vagus nerve or glossopharyngeal nerve on the tongue of the roof of the mouth. The gag reflex is the body’s natural way to prevent choking in the throat.

The extra denture material covering the roof of the mouth is a way to improve suction on your upper denture. It also can be a reservoir for denture adhesive. However, not all people can tolerate the coverage of the palatal area (roof of the mouth).

The palatal area of the upper denture, causes what I call the “gag zone”.

Touching the roof of the mouth with your denture may be enough to cause you to gag. Then, your face begins to look awkward and distorted. You may even feel like vomiting. It is quite uncomfortable.

Bring your denture into a dentist and ask if you are a candidate for dental implants. If they tell you that you cannot have dental implants, get another opinion. If the second opinion tells you that you cannot have dental implants, get another opinion. Keep looking for help until you find help.

It is very, very, very rare that you cannot have dental implants
(even if there is bone loss). Dental implants = no gagging!

Placing dental implants to secure your upper denture will allow the dentist to remove the part of the denture that is responsible for gagging. Then, your face returns to its normal countenance and your quality of life improves. The bonus is that your teeth have increased security and you can begin to feel safe to eat good foods again! I wish you all the best on your quest to improve your smile :)

-Dr. Joe Kravitz, DDS, MS
Prosthodontist, Dentist, and Author

About Dr. Joe Kravitz

Dr. Joe is a Prosthodontist in the DC Area, Author of Dirty Mouth, Contributor to Discovery Fit & Health, and Dental Implant Expert who loves nothing more than helping his patients smile again and better their health.
  • Hekiger

    Ok, SO if you have no insurance, how much are we looking at in CA?

  • Cascade67

    OK! What if you can’t afford dental implants and have to go with a full upper plate? I gag just putting them in my mouth. I can’t wear them at all. What else can be done with the false teeth(upper plate) so the gagging stops? I paid a lot of money just or those. I would like an answer.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PYKLQWDHD27HAYNWWQI3L5OUOA sandra w

      this problem is never solved unless we have money…dentists are all about wanting money patients and i also do not have the cash needed today by these dentists…i am still gagging….never an answer…just charge for dentures that can not be worn..

    • Gumby

      I have had a full upper for three years now, one year with the immediate and two with the latest. I still gag with it and my dentist is reluctant to cut away some of the rear dam. I have been carrying Ice Breakers mints with me and use them constantly during the day, that is the only way I have found that helps. Also, I have used the powder adhesive since I got them as same dentist has said the roof of my mouth is to flat to hold the denture in place by itself. Good luck.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000532233559 Chip van Meter

    Cascade67 so much for service and answering questions sheesh

  • ladyliegh

    Almost a month & still gagging. I wish I could go back & do things differently.
    I may need all implants. So, frustrating & embarrassing didn’t expect this
    problem, Pain I expected. I miss food. Going for the snap in, I already have 4 implants.
    Now I have to gag for 4 or 5 months before I find out if they work.

  • Gnomey

    I spent $2400 and weeks having a set of teeth made by our family dentist. Gagged and could not wear them. He said just get used to them. Went to a same day dental clinic and they made a horseshoe upper that I secure with adhesive. The upper looks just like the lower. They said it”s done all the time. I LOVE them. The whole set was only $400, and I had them same day. Some of us cannot get implants or get over gagging. The open roof makes all the difference! Good luck!

  • elaine

    I’m so through with these denture with the gaging I get the worst headache.
    I keep them out so much when I put them back in over night sometimes all day
    most of my face hurt and there the headache again. Can’t put the teeth glue when I’m gagging I have to get them out quick. When I go out to eat I sit and talk are take care of the little ones not to eat. I’ve been in so much I’m depressed and the time changing is coming soon. OMG