What is a Food Trap?

What is a Food Trap?

A food trap is an area in your mouth, usually between two teeth, that traps food and is difficult to clean. Food traps can also occur on the biting surfaces of teeth, underneath bridges and restorative work, and underneath dentures. We will discuss the most common kind of food trap, which is between two teeth. 

What Causes a Food Trap? 

Food traps occur for various reasons, the most common being a slightly loose or open space between two teeth. The best way to check if you have an open space is to try flossing it. If the floss doesn’t “snap” down but easily slides into the space or opening, you probably have a potential food trap area. Food traps may also be caused by restorative work, such as large fillings or crowns changing the shape of a contact or by crowded or misaligned teeth. 


Effects of Food Traps 

Because food traps accumulate- well- food, they are more prone to bacteria buildup and, therefore, gum inflammation and infection. You may notice a food trap is sore, puffy and bleeds easier when brushing and flossing. With time, you may have irreversible damage to the gum and bone support in the area and even be at risk for a cavity. While it is vital to floss every tooth every day, it is essential to clean out a food trap properly, so it doesn’t cause gum disease and cavities. In addition to floss, there are certain oral hygiene aids you may find helpful to help dislodge food and plaque, such as dental picks and end tuft brushes. 

Treatment for Food Traps 

You may discuss with your dentist that treatment is the best option for your food trap. The most common way to eliminate a food trap is to place a filling on one side of the contact to tighten it up. This will hopefully prevent food and bacteria from accumulating in the contact. Your dentist will check with floss to ensure tight contact between teeth. In addition, braces or aligners are a great option to prevent food traps between teeth by aligning teeth and reducing the space where food gets trapped. 

If you have a food trap and are interested in options to fix it, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

What Is A Food Trap And How Do You Fix It?

What Is A Food Trap And How Do You Fix It?

What is a Food Trap?

A food trap is any area in your mouth that you may or may not realize contains trapped food after having a meal or snack. The leftover foods turn into plaque, which causes issues to the teeth and gums in the area. Issues such as cavities, gum disease, and even infections can occur. Often, a food trap will be between two teeth or behind the last molar, but it can also occur around the front or back side of teeth. You may or may not notice the food trap is there, so it is essential to visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly so this type of concern can be addressed before it causes problems with your teeth and gums.

Treatment Options

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings can be placed to fill the space being affected by trapped food. This treatment option will be recommended if the food trap is between two teeth. A dental filling would be placed on either one or both of the teeth that the food trap affects, closing the space that exists between the two teeth, so food no longer gets stuck in the area. Cleaning teeth is easier when the food trap is eliminated.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a more invasive and proactive way of fixing a food trap. Either one or both of the teeth the food trap affects will be thinned down, and a dental crown(s) will be placed on top, closing the food trap. This option may be recommended if there is already a large filling on the tooth or if the food trap cannot be fixed with dental fillings.

Leaving It & Monitoring It

If the food trap is small and is relatively easy to clean out daily, it may be okay to leave it and monitor it. If left untreated, it is vital to use the best tools available to you to make sure the food trap is clean. Make sure to talk with your dentist or dental hygienist about what tools you can use to clean the food trap at home. Regular dental visits will be recommended to monitor the food trap for changes and assess the health of the teeth and gums.

If you think you have a food trap or have any question about food traps, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.