It can be hard to believe that 1 in 4 Australians over the age of 40 wear dentures. If you have just been given dentures, keep in mind that it does take some time for most people to get used to the sensation of wearing them. Your oral and facial muscles will need to readjust and learn how to keep the dentures in place. A lot of people may find that they experience a problem with gagging. This article will look at 3 solutions that may help overcome this problem.
Strengthen Muscles with Chewing Gum
One of the main reasons you are gagging may be because your facial and oral muscles are simply not used to the dentures yet. If your gums and muscles cannot keep the dentures in place, they may become loose or uncontrollable during the day to the point of stimulating gag reflexes. To solve this problem, start exercising those muscles immediately.
While there are many ways you can do so, chewing gum may be the most cost efficient and effective solution. This way, all of the necessary muscles needed to keep the dentures in place are being worked on. Chewing gum can also help relieve oral dryness so that the dentures feel more comfortable, and it can also reduce the presence of plaque and mouth sugars.
Spray a Numbing Throat Spray on Your Palate Before Putting In the Dentures
If you're having a hard time putting in the dentures without gagging, then you might want to consider spraying a numbing throat spray on your palate first. Although this may help you get your dentures in place easily, the effects are not permanent. After a while, the numbing effects will wear off and you may feel like gagging again.
In this situation, you may benefit from using the numbing throat spray for longer periods of time. Slowly wean yourself off of the spray. As your gums and throat get used to having the dentures around, you'll start to gag less and less. Eventually, your gag reflex should become desensitized.
Try Acupuncture to Manage Your Gag Reflexes
Although this may seem like a long shot, you should consider going to see an acupuncturist. There have been many studies that prove that acupuncture can help manage gag reflexes by relaxing tensed nerves and muscles that are causing the gagging to happen in the first place. Acupuncture sessions for managing gag reflexes will normally involve inserting needles in CV24 and PC6 acupuncture points, which are located by the chin and above the wrists respectively.
If the gagging persists despite all of your attempts, then you should go back to your dentist to determine whether the dentures are properly fitted or not. This will generally be the case if the upper dentures extend too far back into the roof of your mouth. If not, the reason why your gag reflexes are stimulated when you put on your dentures may be psychological. You'll have to learn how to relax when putting your dentures on in order to overcome problems related to gagging.