What's the Real Impact of Impacted Food in Your Teeth?

An unexpected byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic is that more people are far more familiar with the smell of their own breath than they used to be. The reason for this is quite straightforward. When you wear a face mask that covers your mouth and nose, it's unavoidable that you smell the breath expelled into the mask. Is this smell particularly unpleasant? What's more, is this smell unpleasant while being a total mystery?

Your Oral Health Routine

Unpleasant breath can be a mystery when you feel that you've been doing everything you can to prevent it. You clean your teeth regularly, and perhaps mouthwash, chewing gum (sugar-free, of course), or even breath spray are all parts of your oral health routine. So why does your breath smell rancid?

Possible Causes

There are a number of surprising reasons unrelated to the mouth that can cause bad breath. Interesting, the condition is associated with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Alternatively, the cause can be traced back to your tonsils, oesophagus, or stomach. Of course, it's often a localised complaint, which becomes strange when you're diligent about your oral hygiene.

Impacted Food

The cause of your bad breath might be localised to a specific part of your mouth, and it can be that you have impacted food. This is when occlusal forces (bite pressure) have forced particles of food into a position where the impaction cannot be removed with regular brushing and flossing. However, other than the bad breath it causes, is impacted food particularly serious?

Potential Complications

Impacted food can be detrimental to your oral health. These food particles are decaying, and when this happens next to your dental enamel (or other parts of your teeth), it can cause deterioration of the surfaces of your teeth. Additionally, food particles can be pushed into your periodontium, which is your gums, your periodontal ligaments, and all the tissues that support your teeth. This can lead to an infection.

Removing the Impaction

If you suspect impacted food, see your dentist. They can identify any areas of impaction and remove the contaminant, along with treating any damage caused by the impaction. They will also be able to advise you on how best to avoid the issue again in the future. It could be that your oral hygiene routine isn't as exhaustive as you thought (particularly when it comes to flossing). They'll be able to give recommendations about the best technique, as well as additional equipment that can be beneficial. 

Impacted food might start as unpleasant breath, but it can go on to have fairly serious consequences if the issue isn't treated.

To learn more, contact a dentist.