You might think that getting food stuck in your teeth isn’t a big deal. Employ a toothpick or maybe some dental floss and you can get it out.

That’s true, but if you regularly get food stuck in your teeth, it could be a sign of serious problems with your teeth, problems that require the attention of a dentist. And if you don’t address the problems now, they can get much worse and require more invasive and more expensive care in the future.

Attractive woman trying to remove food from in between her teeth

Food Can Get Stuck in Crooked Teeth

One potential cause of food getting stuck in your teeth is that they might be crooked. Teeth are supposed to stand right next to each other with minimal space between them. Food should be cut or ground by the incisal edge or crown. What isn’t being ground up should be shed to one side of the teeth or the other.

But if you have irregular gaps in your teeth, food can get stuck in there. Pushed in by the force of biting and chewing, it can be hard to dislodge sometimes.

Food Can Get Stuck in Cavities

Tooth decay can cause holes in your teeth. This is what we call cavities, and cavities can trap food. The worst cavities for this are cavities that are on the surfaces where your teeth are closest together, where it’s hard to clean or dislodge the trapped food. Food that stays there can speed the decay process, making these cavities larger.

Food between Teeth and Gums

One of the most painful places to get food stuck is between your teeth and gums. Hard, sharp, slender foods like popcorn husks and potato chips are notorious for this. But it shouldn’t happen: the teeth and gums are supposed to be bound tightly so nothing can get in there.

However, as gum disease develops, it can detach the gums from teeth, creating spaces where food can slide in.

Mobile Teeth Let Food in New Places

It’s important to pay attention when food starts getting stuck in places it didn’t before. This could be a sign that  your teeth are becoming mobile, a symptom of serious gum disease. All teeth have some small amount of mobility–it helps cushion them from bite forces–but it shouldn’t be enough to let food slip in between your teeth and other places where it didn’t before.

Deal with Stuck Food Now

Getting food stuck in your teeth can be annoying, even painful. But you might still think it’s just a nuisance. However, you need to see a dentist if you keep getting food stuck in your teeth, because it is either a sign of current problems or a potential cause of future problems.

Small cavities become large cavities if left untreated. And large cavities lead to tooth infections or broken teeth. Gum disease can lead to receding gums, bone loss, and even tooth loss. Mobile teeth become loose teeth, and then they can become lost teeth.

However, if you get care now, we can determine the cause of food getting stuck in teeth and recommend treatment to stop the problem and avoid future troubles. This might include fillings, orthodontics, or gum disease treatment in most cases. And regular preventive dentistry visits can help keep your teeth healthy.

If you are tired of always reaching for a toothpick or floss after a meal, we can help. Please call (614) 848-5001 today for an appointment with Columbus, Ohio dentist Dr. Mike Firouzian at Firouzian Dental.