A woman is sitting in the dentist chair with her dentis explaining to her the reasons and solutions for ill fitting dentures.

Ill-fitting, Loose Dentures - Reasons and Solutions

2 minutes to read

Posted: Jun 22, 2021

Dentures are normally comfortable to wear, but there might be some cases when they can cause mild discomfort and even gagging. One such case is after when you get brand new dentures. The good news is it’ll just take a little time to adjust, and soon you’ll be able to live a comfortable life with dentures. Read on to learn more about why your new dentures may be uncomfortable and how to fix any symptoms of ill-fitting dentures, including gagging.

Why Are My New Dentures Uncomfortable?

Your gums will be sore and swollen after getting your teeth extracted. This can make life with new dentures difficult and uncomfortable, and it will take some time to adjust.

Since your gums and bones shrink after tooth extraction, your dentist may need to modify your bite, so your dentures fit better, especially if your new dentures are loose and are rubbing your gums. It’s not just about adjusting the dentures, you’ll also need to get used to chewing with new dentures.

What Causes Gagging?

Gagging can occur for a few reasons, like from loose dentures that move around and touch the tongue or the throat. It is also possible that dentures can cause that gagging feeling if they are too big, which can also make them get too close to the throat. Although your dentist took measurements to have your dentures made before any teeth were extracted, there is still a chance your dentures may not fit properly. Sometimes the jawbone shrinks after the extraction and can continue to shrink six to twelve months after the teeth have been removed.

What Health Problems Can Ill-fitting Dentures Cause?

Besides mild discomfort and gagging, long-term ill-fitting dentures can also create a host of other problems if you don’t take prompt action. These include:

  • poor nutrition as a result of an impeded bite,

  • jawbone atrophy,

  • ear pain,

  • and headaches.

To prevent them from happening, contact your dentist immediately upon experiencing ill-fitting dentures.

What Can I Do if I Have Loose or Ill-Fitting Dentures?

So, what can you do about loose or ill-fitting dentures and the gagging that might crop up as a result? Instead of looking up “how to fix loose dentures at home” on the internet, here are a few dentist-approved, denture-safe steps you can take:


If you feel uncomfortable or think your dentures are the wrong size, go back to your dentist to see if they can adjust it with soft lining material, like soft, flexible silicone so that your dentures will fit better. Once your dentures are fitted properly, you won’t have to worry about discomfort and gagging, so you can get on with enjoying life.


Getting your dentures fitted and lined correctly will help them feel more comfortable on the gum line. Relining typically concerns the re-layering the base of your dentures based on your mouth impressions. This is made from either an acrylic, waxy or rubbery material.


Still not fully content with the strength of your bite? We’ve got some good news for you: Once your gums have healed, you can even start using denture adhesive to help your dentures stay in place, and to help prevent further irritation.


If the problem is so extreme that you feel gagging or discomfort even after taking the above steps, you should return to your dental professional and ask your dentures to be remade or switch to dental implants.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ill-fitting Dentures

Do you still have a few blind spots when it comes to understanding the nature of ill-fitting dentures? Worry not, you’ll surely find the answers you’re looking for in the below section:

How do you fix ill-fitting dentures?

If you find that your new dentures are fitted poorly and thus come loose in your mouth easily, go back to your dentist and ask to have them readjusted.

How can ill-fitting dentures affect your health?

In addition to mild discomfort and gagging, ill-fitting dentures can cause headaches, gum disease, plaque accumulation, ear pain, jawbone atrophy, soreness and poor nutrition as a result of an impeded bite.

Can ill-fitting dentures cause sore throat?

While ill-fitting dentures are linked primarily to swollen and sore gums, you may develop a sore throat as an allergic reaction to the denture-soaking solution or mouthwash you are using.

Why do my dentures not fit anymore?

There are two reasons for that. On one hand, your dentures may have not been fitted properly to your gums in the first place. In this case, return to your dental professional and have your dentures assessed. On the other hand, it may happen as part of a natural process called bone resorption: As you age, your body undergoes various changes, such as the shifting and shrinking of your jawbone and gums. To help prevent bone resorption, try to use your jaw as much as possible.

How do I know if my dentures are too big?

You can tell if your dentures are too big if your mouth and gums continue to feel swollen well after you’ve started wearing them; you regularly experience gagging as a result of your dentures moving around a lot; and you’re having a hard time biting and chewing properly because your dentures keep slipping and sliding.

If you feel any gagging or discomfort with your new dentures, return to your dentist so they can identify the cause and make any necessary adjustments. Once your dentures are fitted properly, you won’t have to worry about discomfort and gagging, so you can get on with enjoying life.