Back Tooth Pain? You Could Have Food Lodged Between Your Teeth

14 May 2018
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


If your back tooth hurts whenever you chew on something hard or solid, you may automatically assume that you have a cavity. Although some cavities can cause tooth pain, teeth can also hurt if small pieces of food lodges between them. Tiny pieces of meat and vegetable can press against your gums and irritate them. If you floss between your molars, you may be able to dislodge the food and stop your toothache. Use the information and tips below to help you get started.

Why Should You Floss Between Your Molars and How?

Flossing is one of the most effective ways to remove odor-causing plaque and food from between your teeth. However, only 50 percent of adults floss as recommended. A lack of flossing can lead to tooth decay, gum inflammation, and stained tooth enamel. If there's food trapped between your molars, you want to remove it now to prevent problems with your teeth later.

Before you floss your molars, keep a few things in mind. Never use force to slide the floss thread between your teeth. Also, take your time when you floss. Flossing too forcibly may push food and plaque further into the gumline and between your molars. You could also bruise your gums if you move too fast with your floss thread.

Also, avoid using the see saw (back and forth) method when you clean your teeth. If you accidentally slide your floss too deeply into the gumline, you could cut and infect your gums. Bacteria can enter the cut and infect it. 

If your gums bleed during or after you floss your teeth, rinse your mouth with warm water several times. Warm water may help soothe your gums and remove any small pieces of food your floss thread missed. Schedule an appointment with a family dentist if your tooth continues to hurt after you floss and rinse your mouth.

Why Do You Need to See a Dentist?

A lingering toothache may indicate an infection. The infection can hide inside the tooth's pulp tissues or at the end of the tooth's root. A dentist can use X-rays to look inside your tooth to see if it has any of these problems. 

If your tooth does have a serious infection, a dentist will generally use root canal treatment to save it. The treatment allows a dentist to remove the infection at the source, which not only saves the tooth, it keeps the infection from spreading to your jaw and adjacent teeth.  

You may also need to have your tooth capped to keep it safe from future infections. If a cap is necessary, a dentist will inform you before they complete the additional work.

If you want to learn about molar pain and how it affects you, contact a family dentist in your area today.