We all get food stuck in our teeth from time to time. Corn on the cob, toffee, candy, popcorn—these are all popular foods that we love to eat, but often pay the price for with extra flossing.
However, if you have noticed food is getting stuck in your teeth more often than in the past, and you are reaching for a toothpick every time you leave a restaurant or feeling the need to brush after every meal, your mouth could be trying to tell you something.
Take a close look at your teeth and gums in the mirror. Your gums should line the top of your teeth as well as drop in between each tooth. This dropped gum is called the papilla. Do you notice any spaces where the papilla should be, but is missing? If so, you might see what is known as a black triangle - an empty space where the gums are supposed to be.
"As the number one cause of tooth loss, it is important to treat gum recession as early as possible. The gums are what hold the teeth in place and protect the root of the tooth."
DR. RANA G. SHAHI, DDS, MS, MSD
Diplomate, American Board of Periodontology
What is the cause of the black triangle? It could be gum recession.
Gum recession occurs when the gum pulls away from the teeth, exposing the root of the tooth. It is often caused by aggressive brushing, plaque build-up, or gum disease. Smoking can also cause gum recession as well as other diseases like diabetes and HIV. Gum recession can also simply be hereditary.
Gum recession often goes unnoticed until the symptoms become painful, but food getting stuck in your teeth could be a helpful indicator that your gums are starting to recede. Other symptoms of gum recession include bleeding gums, sensitive or loose teeth, bad breath, and pain in the gumline.
Periodontist Near Me
Visit your periodontist if you are concerned about gum recession. He or she can diagnose, determine what the problem is, and then advise on a treatment plan. This might include visiting a periodontist. Periodontists specialize in the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of gum disease, or the more progressive form of gum disease, periodontal disease.
Once the gums have receded, they cannot grow back. Unlike other tissue in the body, such as skin, once the gum is lost, it is lost forever. However, you can prevent further gum loss with proper care. Your gums can also be restored, if needed, with a gum graft procedure.
Regenerative procedures can reverse some of the damage by regenerating lost bone and tissue. LA Periodontics & Implant Specialists employs the latest scientifically supported and advanced techniques in reversing damage and salvaging teeth.
A gum graft restores lost gum by taking tissue-usually from the roof of the mouth-and transferring it to the area of recession, whether this is around one tooth or many. The new tissue adheres to the surface of the tooth to create a new, natural-looking gum.
As the number one cause of tooth loss, it is important to treat gum recession as early as possible. The gums are what hold the teeth in place and protect the root of the tooth.
A gum graft is a standard procedure periodontists perform every day. It requires local anesthesia and takes anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes. Recovering from a gum graft only takes a few days, and requires eating soft foods and avoiding strenuous activity. Overall, the procedure is a small sacrifice to make, and could potentially save your teeth.
So, be on the lookout for the little black triangles. If you are noticing food getting caught in your teeth more often than usual, schedule an appointment with your periodontist to determine the cause and see what treatment may be needed. It could just be the corn on the cob, or it could be something a little more serious.