movie popcornWe’ve all had moments of intense frustration and annoyance when certain foods get stuck between our teeth. That stray popcorn kernel that slides between two teeth just as the movie begins, the tough bit of meat that seems to have wedged itself between two back molars during a meal with friends, or the sesame seed from the bagel that just jammed itself into an impossible crevice in a tooth… these are common enough, but there are some who deal with much worse.

For example, some people know that two of their teeth are just far enough apart to cause them to continually deal with food getting stuck between them. They may even knowingly avoid using that area of the mouth for chewing in order to avoid the discomfort and frustration. The big question however is “why?”

Why does food get stuck between the teeth on a regular basis?

Apart from obvious, natural gaps between two adult teeth, there are really only a few answers to that, and knowing them ensures you can begin to avoid the problems:

  • Actual space between two adjacent teeth: Known as an open contact, this can be caused by the placement of a crown or filling that lack the proper anatomic or “natural” contour;
  • Periodontal disease: This is a serious issue that must be dealt with by a professional. It can cause a host of dental problems, with the main ones being loss of bone and gum tissue. Individuals with periodontal disease may experience drifting or shifting of the their teeth that can lead to gaps that can catch food;
  • Cavities: Between and within teeth, cavities can grab food particles and trap them; and
  • Flossing with an improper method: If you use the wrong techniques when flossing, you can actually force material further between the teeth or the gum.

Though bacteria are a leading cause of bad breath, a great many people experience it because of food particles being stuck between the teeth. If you have this warning sign of a problem with the space between teeth, it is time to visit a dentist. They can remedy many of the problems and also do a thorough cleaning that ensures both the teeth and gums are free of debris and in completely optimal condition.