Food lodgement happens when we eat something and food particles get stuck in between our teeth which could not get dislodged either by rinsing or by the effort of our tongue. It can lead to irritation as it gives a feeling of foreign body stuck and our tongue constantly trying to reach that area and dislodge it. It might also lead to sensitivity.
Food Lodgement Reasons:
1: GUM DISEASE– Inflamed gums are a reason when food gets stuck. Inflamed gums are usually swollen hence there becomes a space where food gets inside. Inflamed gums are also usually associated with underlying bone loss hence the development of pocket like the area where food gets accumulated easily.
2: CAVITY– Whenever there is a cavity (due to constant food accumulation which is usually avoided at first) in between the teeth there occurs constant food lodgement. If sensitivity is also present then this is a matter of concern and it has to be dealt with immediately.
3: IMPROPER RESTORATIONS CROWNS AND BRIDES- Improper dental restorations like fillings ,Dental replacements like crowns and bridges are iatrogenic causes leading to food accumulations. When food lodgement is seen in such areas where already a dental procedure is been performed earlier please don’t ignore and do report to the dentist.
4: MALALIGNED TEETH– Some patients may have their teeth in malposed position. It can either be due to lack of space or presence of extra space where food can get lodged easily.
PREVENTION AND OR TREATMENT:
1: CLEANING AND FLOSSING– Commonly referred to as scaling is to be done for every individual atleast once in a year. Cleaning leads to healthy gums which are firm and tightly adhering to tooth. It also prevents gum bleeding and bad breath.
2: CAVITY– If there is a cavity present then the teeth requires a filling.
3: ORTHODONTIC CORRECTION– Malpositioned teeth requires correction by use of braces whether it’s due to lack of space or having spaces in between teeth.
4: If food lodgement is due to improper filling or crowns and bridges that needs to be changed.
NOTES: Removal of food lodged between teeth by toothpick should be avoided as it could lead to localized trauma leading to further inflammation. Rather the use of floss interdental brushes or water floss system is recommended as these systems are hygienic non-traumatic and easier to use. Please do not avoid if you notice food lodgement in between your teeth as later it might lead to more serious dental issues.