Getting food stuck in your teeth is never a desirable situation, and it may be a sign that you need to consider orthodontics. But when the situation comes with pain, it’s a call for more immediate action.
Food Stuck Literally in the Tooth
One common situation is that food gets stuck in your tooth and it hurts right away. If it gets stuck in the top of the tooth, every chewing motion may incite more pain. It’s typically a sharp, stabbing pain that can cause you to jump. This can also occur with food stuck between teeth or even with food stuck to the front or back of the tooth.
When stuck food is causing you this kind of pain, it’s likely that the food is stuck in a cavity and is causing irritation of the tooth nerve. This could be a sign that the cavity has reached or almost reached the tooth nerve, but it isn’t necessarily. The dentin underneath the enamel is a little softer and more flexible, so if the cavity has pierced the enamel, pressure on the dentin could lead to pressure on the nerve, even if the cavity hasn’t reached it.
Food Stuck between Teeth
Other times, you may experience pain when food gets stuck between the teeth. This is mostly due to some type of hard food, such as a popcorn kernel or other seed. When this occurs, it can push your teeth sideways, which can cause pain that you feel down in your gums where the teeth are anchored. It’s somewhat similar to the discomfort people experience when they have braces tightened.
Try to remove these food particles quickly to preserve the spacing and alignment of your teeth.
Food Stuck between Tooth and Gum
And sometimes food can get shoved down between the tooth and gums. This can lead to a sharp pain, but sometimes the pain goes away quickly and you may forget about it. But if a food particle has been lodged in there, you will be reminded soon enough because the pain will return, along with serious inflammation, and often a very bad smell. This is the sign of an abscess, which can be caused by food particles that get stuck under your gums and allow an infection to occur there.
This can be dangerous to your teeth and your health, and it’s important that you get gum disease treatment for it quickly.