The Food Trap

The Food Trap

There is nothing more irritating than getting food trapped between your teeth. It causes a nagging anoying pain and leads you to poke & prod at it with any sharp object you can lay your hands on. You are compelled to persistently poke away until you have removed that offending piece of fibrous meat.

If you frequently get food trapping between your teeth, this can lead to decay, inflammed gums and periodontal pockets & eventually bone loss and possibly tooth loss.

The causes:

  1. poor marginal contour of fillings
  2. crowns & bridges that don’t maintain a good contact point with the adjacent teeth.
  3. drifting of teeth
  4. over errupting teeth
  5. periodontal disease
  6. broken tooth or lost filling


  1. With fillings it is possible to replace the filling & rebuild a good contact with the next tooth to close off the gap and stop food lodging between them.
  2. The poor fitting crown is more problematic, you can’t alter the crown, unless you replace it with a new crown, but if the next tooth is not crowned you can close the gap with filling material. If the contact is crown to crown you will need a new crown. if you don’t stop the food trapping you will porbably get decay under the crown & loose the tooth.
  3. Sometimes teeth will drift and leave a small gap which will allow food to stick between them & cause pain & discomfort. You can usually close the space with filling material.
  4. Often when teeth are extracted little thought is given to the long term implications of leaving a gap. The main concern is the relief of pain. But often the opposing tooth (the antagonist) will start to errupt into the missing tooth space. The tooth will continue to move until it has contact with another tooth or the gum. This leads to the loss of its contact point thus creating a potential food trap. If left unchecked this usually leads to the loss of another tooth.
  5. Advanced periodontal disease is charracterised by receding gums, bone loss, gaps between the teeth & mobility (loose teeth). With receding gums & bone loss you get exposed root surfaces with no enamel to protect them. These surfaces are much more prone to decay and teeth will rapidly deteriorate, with pain & tooth loss the most likely result. Patients with advancing periodontal disease, need to maintain a high standard of oral hygiene and require regular visits to the dentist or hygienist for scaling & polishing of the teeth to preserve their oral health.
  6. A broken tooth or lost filling can lead to food lodging in the gap, causing pain & decay. The remedy is simple, get the tooth or filling repaired before the damage gets worse.


Don’t leave it until it’s too late ( a stitch in time etc ) visit your dentist and fix the problem now and save yourself a lot more pain and suffering.

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