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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

If you are a senior considering dental implants, you may have to worry about issues other dental patients don't have to think about. For example, you may need more time to recover after receiving your implants. My name is Jodi, and I've been working with seniors for years. I decided to create this blog to help the seniors I can't meet in person. In this space, I'm going to post entries on everything related to dental implants and seniors. From tips on flossing implants after arthritis has claimed some of your dexterity, to guiding you through the implants-vs-dentures debate, this blog is designed for you. Thanks for reading. I hope you find what you need!



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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

The Dangers of Food Traps: How Food Traps Between Teeth Harm Your Oral Health

by Jimmy Carter

If you find that there are one or two places in your mouth where food debris constantly gets stuck, you probably have what dentists refer to as a "food trap". As the name suggests, pieces of food, such as steak and pork, for example, become wedged in the spaces between teeth. While, these pieces of debris usually come loose on their own, some food traps can trap food for days.

A food trap is a small area between teeth within which food lodges. If you have one or more food traps, you should consider having space filled. Otherwise, your teeth and gums could suffer.

Food Traps Lead to Cavities

When food gets trapped between teeth, it becomes a steady supply of food for the millions of bacteria that call your mouth home. As these bacteria eat, they multiply, swelling their numbers and creating a sticky bio-film to help them better attach to your teeth. If your efforts to clean the area fail or you fail to notice the food between your teeth, problems may arise.

Since the bacteria between your teeth also produce an acidic waste product that eats away at the enamel of your teeth, a cavity could develop between those teeth. Moreover, if left long enough, the sticky bio-film (plaque) inhabited by the bacteria absorbs minerals such as calcium and phosphorous. These minerals cause the plaque to harden into tartar.

Tartar Irritates Gums

If tartar builds up between your teeth as a result of a food trap, it may irritate your gums and spread below the gum line. This usually leads to gum gingivitis at first, and progresses into periodontal disease later. Gingivitis causes gums to swell and bleed. Periodontal disease, on the other hand, weakens the supporting structures of teeth, causing gum recession and bone loss.

You May Damage Your Gums

When a piece of food becomes wedged between two teeth, naturally, you will want to remove it. Subjecting your gums and teeth to your constant probing efforts with toothpicks and Q-tips etc, will eventually damage the gum tissue and possibly wear down the enamel of the two teeth. If a gap is especially awkward, even floss might not be able to remove pieces of food.

Later, if nothing is done to remedy the food trap, all the extra attention will takes its toll on your gums and teeth. What was a simple issue that could have easily been fixed with composite resin to fill in the food trap, may end up becoming a very expensive issue. If you or your children have a particularly bothersome food trap, have your dentist fill it in with composite resin.