An Objective Look at Whether or Not Food Can Get Under Dental Implants
Dental implants have quickly risen to become the leading solution or permanent tooth replacement, with millions of procedures carried out each year.
But one question that many patients and ‘would be’ patients seem to wonder, is ‘does food get under dental implants?”
We all know how frustrating getting food stuck in and under your natural teeth can be. And for those of you with dentures, this can be an even bigger hassle as food can make its way under the false teeth where it sticks in the glue holding the device in place.
What about dental implants though? Do you have to worry about food becoming lodged in, under or around them? And if so, what can you do to prevent it from happening, or clean it out when it does get stuck?
Luckily, this guide covers all of that and then some. Let’s dive in…
The Trouble with Getting Food Stuck After Dental Implants
Whether you’ve had or are considering a single tooth, single arch, or a full replacement of your pearly whites with dental implants, you may have heard stories about food getting stuck.
Similar to your natural teeth, dental implants have the same ‘nooks and crannies and small crevices where food can become lodged or stuck. When food embeds itself in, under or around these areas, it isn’t only unsightly and embarrassing, it can cause inflammation, irritation, pain, and even infection if not dealt with.
Before you bust out the toothpick or wear out your tongue trying to remove that piece of spinach from between your two front teeth, let’s first take a look at why or how food might get stuck under a dental implant.
Why Food Might Get Stuck Under Dental Implants
The Implant is Too Small: At Nuvia Dental Implant Center we utilize cutting edge technology and computer-aided mapping of your oral cavity, bone and facial structure to perfectly fit your implants. However, not all dental clinics do this and there is room for human error in measurements. An implant that is just a hair too small can leave just enough of a crevice for food to make its way in.
Poorly Positioned or Shifting Positions: In some cases, a poorly anchored implant, changes in the health of your jaw bone, or changes in the health of surrounding teeth can cause shifting or movement, creating gaps where food may get caught.
Stock Abutments: These might be cost-savers, but pre-fabricated components that take a ‘one size fits all’ approach leaves room for an improper fit.
A Poorly Fitted Crown: This is the ‘cap’ that sits atop of the abutment and looks like your real tooth/teeth. Improper fitting or sizing during the fabrication process, or inaccurate measurements could be the culprit. In some cases, poor contouring and shape, not just size and fit, can contribute to food getting stuck.
Even When All is Done Right – food can still get stuck where it doesn’t belong
Even before your new implant you likely had the occasional piece of food get stuck between or under your teeth. From pesky corn kernels to stringy vegetables or a tough piece of meat, food has a way of finding its way where it doesn’t belong and then overstaying its welcome now and again.
The same can be said of implants. These permanent replacements for your natural pearly whites are engineered to look and perform just like the real thing. This means that they too have crevices and spaces where food can find its way in.
How to Get Food Stuck Under Your Dental Implants OUT!
In general, taking care of your dental implants is a breeze, requiring no more work than taking care of your natural teeth. But when food gets stuck in or under them, you might need a little extra help.
Use An Oral Irrigator
Sure, everyone should be flossing, but sometimes that’s not enough. This is especially true if you have a difficult time manipulating the floss and getting your fingers gar enough in your mouth to get the job done right. Flossing also doesn’t do much for food that makes its way under the gumline.
For such instances, an oral irrigator can be a real lifesaver, capable of removing food debris from under the implant itself and providing immediate relief from any irritation.
What is an Oral Irrigator?
Known commonly as a “water flosser”, “water pik” or “hydroflosser’, this handy tool is equipped with a hose attached to a water reservoir. Once its turned on, the water is jetted to any area you point it at, capable of reaching those hard to get at nooks in your mouth and effectively cleaning between teeth and under gumlines. Most models come with an adjustable pressure gauge to suit your needs and level of comfort, and can be purchased cheaply from any health or big box store. Some models even have a pulsating mode for improved cleansing and working out the most difficult of stuck food items.
From Natural Teeth to Implants, Stuck Food can Happen
Getting food stuck in or under your teeth can be aggravating, unsightly and potentially dangerous if left unchecked. Luckily, most food comes out with a little extra floss, the right brush angle, or in some cases, with the added pressure from a water pik.
If you find that food has become lodged below the gums or simply won’t come loose, the best option is to call your dentist before the area becomes too inflamed, or worse, infected.