Imagine this scenario. It’s a beautiful summer day and you decided to grill some meat and corn cobs. You take that first mouthwatering bite and… the food is all of sudden stuck in between your teeth!
This isn’t how your cookout was supposed to go! How can you enjoy it if your food gets stuck in between your teeth between every single bite.
Food constantly getting stuck in between your teeth can be really annoying!
Now everyone gets food stuck in between their teeth occasionally. Some of the most common offenders are corn on the cob, apples, and meat. Some people on the other hand get food stuck in certain areas all the time. By all the time, I literally mean anytime they take a bite in that area.
So what actually causes food to get stuck between your teeth?
The primary reason food gets stuck between your teeth is because there is a small gap between them. For the proper function of teeth, they should have a relatively broad area of contact between each other. This area of contact should be tight enough so that floss “pops” down in between the teeth but not so tight that it shreds it. If the contact area isn’t tight enough, this is where you really run into a lot of problems with food getting caught. If floss just drops right in without any “pop”, you can make a pretty good guess that it is an area that will catch food.
Sometimes these small spaces are naturally there. It is just how your teeth came in.
Other times a cavity in between your teeth can cause these spaces to open up.
Sometimes you’ll develop these spaces after dental treatment. If your dentist doesn’t get a great contact between the filling or crown and the next tooth, food will start getting stuck. It happens to every dentist occasionally. If it is a problem, they’ll usually fix it at no charge to you.
There are a couple of solutions to constantly getting food stuck in between your teeth…
Carry floss or toothpicks around everywhere. Not the most pleasant way to go about things but better than having the food always stuck.
Talk to your dentist about fixing the problem areas. There are a couple of different ways they can do this. The simplest is to close the open space with a properly shaped filling or crown. A second way to close spaces is by orthodontics, whether through traditional braces, Invisalign, or a removable appliance.
I’d highly recommend getting those areas fixed by your dentist at some point. Constantly trapping food between your teeth can cause a variety of problems.
Cavities. Food trapped up against your tooth provides a food source for bacteria which will create acid and break down the enamel of your teeth.
Gum irritation. Constantly packed food causes your gums to be highly irritated and bleed easily.
Gum disease. Over time packed food will harden into tartar that is stuck to your teeth. Tartar under the gumline is one of the most significant predictors for gum disease. Gum disease causes you to lose bone around teeth and can eventually lead to tooth loss. Gum disease has also been linked to a variety of other health issues such as diabetes and heart disease.