A food trap is any area in the mouth, particularly between two teeth, where food debris gets lodged and is challenging to cleanout. Most people have experienced a food trap at some point in their lives. A food trap may arise due to several reasons.
- There is space between two teeth naturally
- Shifting teeth with age can cause an open area between two teeth
- Braces can create an open area when aligning teeth
- Tooth chips, fractures and decay
- Improper restorative work such as a filling or dental crown
- Gum recession around or between teeth
Food traps can be damaging to the gums and the teeth if left untreated and not adequately cleaned. They can lead to tooth decay, bone loss from around the teeth, gum recession and even gum abscesses. Below are a few treatment options for food traps:
Can Be Left Alone
Depending on the size, severity, and ease with which the food trap may cleaned, treatment may or may not be necessary. Essential tools to use for cleaning include dental floss, interdental brushes or proxabrushes. At each check-up and cleaning, the food trap will be checked, and the gums and teeth’ health will be assessed.
Dental fillings may be used sometimes to close the open area of a food trap. A filling can be placed on either one or both of the teeth in order to build up the gap. Dental fillings are the best option if the food trap is too difficult to keep clean daily or if the food trap is caused by decay/a chip or fracture.
Lastly, a dental crown can be used to close the gap between two teeth. A dental crown is a full coverage cap placed over a sanded down tooth to protect the entire tooth and create a new shape. A dental crown may be used if the space between two teeth is too wide for a filling, if there is a large chip or fracture, or if aesthetics is a fracture (such as front teeth.)
It is essential to discuss with your dentist what option is best for your individual needs. If you think you have a food trap and are interested in treatment options, contact us today to schedule an appointment.