By Jaime O’Neill DDS

We’ve all had food lodged between our teeth from time to time. Corn on the cob, salads, and sticky candies are among the culprits.

However, for some of you, any food can get stuck in certain parts of your mouth after every meal. This is a problem that needs to be addressed.

What Causes Food Traps?

There are a number of causes of food traps. All of them are fixable. They include:

  • Teeth with gaps between them. This is an obvious issue.
  • Receding gums. In this case food gets trapped between the teeth and guns
  • Cracked tooth or a tooth with a cavity. Another easy place for food to settle.
  • Post-dental procedures. Sometimes food gets stuck in gum or skin flaps, which can appear after a dental procedure, such as wisdom teeth removal.

Can Food Traps Cause Problems?

In general, if food is getting trapped in your teeth only occasionally, normal dental hygiene and care should take care of the problem and there should be no need for concern.

If it’s a regular occurrence, however, then dental issues such as tooth decay, infection and bad breath might happen.  Keep in my mind that all food has bacteria in it and when it decomposes it creates acid. Acid is not good for your teeth or gums, as it can wear down the protective enamel surface of your teeth, leading to more cavities, and cause gum decay as well, a more serious problem.

What Should You Do If Food Traps Are a Problem

Regular flossing and water flossing are the best ways to keep food from accumulating between your teeth. You should do this at least once daily.

But if this routine still does not remove all the food, schedule an appointment with us so we can diagnose the problem and come up with a solution. You don’t want to let something like this go on too long as the chances for tooth and gum decay will increase. Usually, there’s a relatively simple solution to the problem.