Do you have one of those annoying little spots where you always get food stuck? Perhaps you have an area where the stringy things like beef and chicken pack themselves into. If you can’t get up from a meal without taking some of it with you, you may have a bigger problem than you think.
If food is packing in there, so is plaque and bacteria. Unless you are an Olympic worthy flosser, this situation is a time bomb waiting to go off. First your gums can become inflamed. This red, spongy, bleeding tissue makes it easier for bacteria to thrive. In addition to gingivitis, this bacteria can cause loss of bone support and receding gums. This is periodontal disease, and it will progress until treated.
You could be one of the lucky ones and have a low level of periodontal causing bacteria. In that case, you more than likely have an abundance of decay causing germs. This means the food trap is allowing these bugs to attack the teeth on either side of the space. This decay often is hard to detect until it has caused some very large cavities. These food trap cavities often involve so much tooth structure that crowns are needed and sometimes teeth are not repairable and must be extracted.
Most people fall somewhere in between. A little inflammation, some tissue recession and often some decay. Even without all these potential problems, isn’t that spot just plain annoying? Then tell your dentist or hygienist. There are so many times in our office that we find a problem area and the patient will say, “Yeah, I’ve been getting food trapped in there for quite a while.”
If addressed early, food traps can often be fixed with minor procedures. Please don’t wait until we find a deep periodontal pocket or a huge cavity under that old filling. Let us know you are getting food caught in there so we can help you.
Unless you enjoy carrying a snack with you everywhere you go?
Thanks for reading,