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Why Do Dentures Make You Gag?

Author : Efrain S.

Your upper denture has a palatal area and it is very unique and sensitive, unlike any other place in the denture itself. Some call it the “high gag zone” as a joke, but it is truly no joke. Gagging is never fun, as we know, and here and today, I can show you a bit on what you can do to stop this or have a better experience and less overall gags…. sound good? Then please read to understand….

Here we go —- first off, I want you to know that gagging is a natural system of response that your body uses to prevent you from actually choking ( which can get really, really bad for you at that point, and the Heimlich Maneuver might have to be used to get the stuck item out, which you should never want to allow to happen… believe me on that ) . So think of it as a defense mechanism, much the same way in which your body gets sick, in general, to tell you that something is wrong with it and that it needs rest, something needs to exit the body, etc. You get the jist, right? Same here, nothing new.

So with gagging, we call it the “gag reflex” ; when the glossopharyngeal nerve, or even the vagus nerve, on your roof’s mouth, gets stimulated, you go into that relex and this area of your mouth makes its every effort, like a good soldier in the face of combat ( ever seen Saving Private Ryan? He heh ) , to stop it from getting into your throat and choking you in your throat. So we ought to be grateful to have this first line of response, I ought to say, and understand that, while the gagging noises and sounds, and even the feel of gagging, may be odd, silly, funny or unpleasant, it is, all in all, a part of the process in keeping you safe. So remember that, my friend. Lives matter, right?

And the roof of your mouth, on that note, often gets covered with some extra denture material as a means for your top denture to get greater suction overall. Nice, right? But there is more — so often, denture adhesive, like Fixodent ( which I have written on before ) , can get stuck there, too…. but all in all, it lies there as well, to help keep that denture in place and properly secured while you do your every day things and pay it no mind.

Now then, some mouths ( and some people, as well, he he he heh ) are more sensitive than others and can be more easily ‘triggered’ into a gag reflex. For some, all they need to do is have the top denture touch that roof of their mouth, and they are instantly triggered into a gax reflex… no joke. A little tap or touch can be all that it takes. That area is sensitive, and that is a good thing it can trigger so fast… it means your “choking defenses” are top – notch and ready to kick in when needed.