Here's What It Means If Hard Foods Are Getting Stuck Under Your Gums
Hard and crunchy foods like popcorn and nuts make for a tasty snack, but they leave many people with an unwanted reminder of what they ate. If you've experienced getting food wedged under your gum line, you should know that this is a problem that could indicate that you have some significant oral health problems brewing. Here's what you need to know about this phenomenon and what it means for you.
Teeth and Gums
The first thing to keep in mind is that this is only in reference to food that actually makes it under the edge of your gums. If you have food getting stuck between your teeth, there's nothing to worry about, so long as you take steps to get the food out (like flossing). Even when you have healthy gums and teeth, food can get stuck between teeth simply because there's space between each tooth.
How Gums Should Work
If you have healthy gums, you shouldn't actually ever have the problem you're experiencing. Gums aren't just extensions of the tissues of your mouth. They have an important role to play in keeping your teeth healthy and safe. When your gums are in good health, they form a snug seal around each and every tooth. This not only helps to support the teeth and keep them in place, but it also prevents food from getting to the hidden parts of your teeth.
This is an especially important process because the root of your tooth that's hidden under your gums is vulnerable and sensitive to bacteria and the intrusion of foreign bodies. Without your gums, those parts of your teeth can become damaged or infected.
What It Means
If food is managing to get under your gums, that means that they aren't as healthy as they could or should be. As gums develop gum disease, they tend to become puffy, swollen, and looser around your teeth. This allows all kinds of foreign substances in, including the hard and crunchy food that you're tired of getting under your gums.
In short, every time you get something wedged under your gum line, it should act as a reminder that your gum health isn't as good as it ought to be.
If you're having problems with food getting under your gum line, you should visit a dentist right away. Your dentist will determine if you have gum disease or another issue with your gums and will work to start treatment right away. This will ensure that your gums and teeth stay healthy and that you no longer have this annoying problem when you eat.