What to do if food gets stuck between your teeth on a regular basis? The problem of food getting between teeth is one of the most common problems in dentistry. For most people, immediately after eating, it is necessary to thoroughly clean the interdental spaces with a floss or a toothpick, since food residues falling between the teeth cause very unpleasant and even painful sensations. The problem is solved in two ways: by visiting the dentist to identify and eliminate the causes of this phenomenon, and by daily cleaning of the interdental space to prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
Causes of food stuck between teeth
The main reason for food getting between the teeth is a violation of the density of their contact with each other (in dentistry, this concept is referred to as a “contact point”), which can be caused by:
- poor quality fillings (prostheses). An incorrectly placed filling may not exactly repeat the relief of the tooth, it may have an overhanging edge. A sign of poor quality filling can be both food stuck and breaks of dental floss during its use;
- natural structure of the dentition. This can be the curvature of the teeth, diastema (gaps between the lower or upper central teeth), treme (gaps between the lateral teeth);
- deformation of the dentition due to injuries, tooth extraction, various diseases of the oral cavity.
- non-professional prosthetics. A gap may remain between the crown and the tooth, the denture structure does not correspond to the anatomical shape.
- there is no papilla between the tooth and the gum. It fills the interdental space, and in the absence of such a papilla, there is a problem of food stuck.
- slots. May appear as a result of injuries or diastema. As a result, pieces of solid food constantly get stuck in the cracks, which have to be removed with a thread or a toothpick.
- loss of teeth. As a result, the integrity of the dentition is disrupted, which provokes the emergence of the problem under consideration;
- caries. As a result of carious lesions, the enamel is destroyed, and a cavity is formed. Food residues accumulate here, which can only be removed purposefully: ordinary rinsing and salivation will not cope with this task.
Consequences of regular food stuck between teeth
Some people do not even think about how to get stuck food out of their teeth. They are guided by the principle, does not hurt and okay, making a big mistake. Meanwhile, such neglect can lead to sad consequences. For example:
- Gum disease – food debris is an irritant that damages the mucous membranes, which provokes the development of dental diseases: gingivitis, periodontitis, etc.;
- Unpleasant odor – the food remaining between the teeth begins to decompose, which, in addition to amber, creates a favorable environment for the life of pathogenic bacteria;
- Injury to the root – irritation of the gums can provoke exposure of the neck of the tooth, which increases sensitivity and causes pain;
- Caries – stuck pieces of food are one of the main causes of carious damage to the enamel, this disease is eliminated only through dental intervention;
- Tissue decay – if the interdental space is not cleaned, teeth begin to deteriorate gradually, which can lead to complete loss.
How to remove food if it gets stuck between your teeth
If food gets stuck between the teeth and smells from the mouth, you must use hygiene products to care for the dental cavity.
The most common cleaning methods are:
- The toothpick should be positioned at an angle of 30-40 degrees in relation to the gum, pressed against the gingival papilla and the plane of the tooth. Leftover food is removed by moving the toothpick upward.
- Dental floss. Floss is clamped with fingers and inserted into the interdental space. Flossing is done in a reciprocating motion.
It is important to understand here that both of these methods are quite traumatic, and any careless movement can damage the gum. Then how to remove food stuck between your teeth? To do this, you can use an irrigator.
Irrigators are absolutely safe to use: pieces of stuck food are removed with a stream of water. This allows you to efficiently clean even hard-to-reach places without injuring the gums and interdental spaces. In addition, irrigators are ideal for the care of dentures.
What to do if food gets into the socket of the extracted tooth?
If food gets into the hole left after tooth extraction, you need to act very carefully. In such cases, you should not use toothpicks: there is a very high risk of injury to the gums or infection. You can remove pieces of food by rinsing, for example, with the same irrigator set to minimum pressure. It is then recommended to see a dentist.
How to fix the problem
Much depends on the reasons why the food is stuck between the teeth. For example, if the problem arises as a result of an incorrectly placed crown, overhanging of the edges of the prosthesis or caries, you will have to contact your dentist. These defects can be removed only in a clinical setting, and if the cause is not eliminated, food will get stuck constantly. At the very least, it is fraught with bad breath. In the worst case, the risk of infectious diseases increases.
If the problem is caused by cracks or cracks in the dentition, you can correct the situation yourself. An irrigator, dental floss or a toothpick can do a great job of prophylactic cleaning of the interdental space.
However, dentists recommend using irrigators. It is better to refuse to use dental floss: if you use floss carelessly, you can severely injure the gum. The use of an irrigator is supported by the fact that this device helps prevent the formation of tartar and a number of other dental diseases.
Bits of food stuck between the teeth are not a serious problem, provided that the person cleans the interdental space in a timely manner. The main thing is to choose the most convenient and safe way to perform this procedure.