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Toothpicks Are Dangerous for the Health of Your Mouth

Posted on 12/25/2019 by Dr. Elizabeth Vivona
Toothpicks Are Dangerous for the Health of Your MouthWe've all been to a restaurant or two that offers a wooden toothpick after the meal to help clean up any stubborn food that has become stuck in our teeth.

You may even enjoy using a toothpick after every meal or keeping one in your mouth to chew on. Most people associate toothpicks with clean mouths and think using one is good for them. However, toothpicks can actually be quite harmful to your mouth.

Next time you go to use a toothpick you may want to reconsider. Toothpicks can cause problems to your gums. This happens when the sharp point of a toothpick jabs into your gum. The sharp end of the toothpick may not cause any bleeding; however, it does open up a small wound on the gum. Wounds on the gums are particularly dangerous, because they are open to infection.

How An Infection Develops From A Toothpick

The way our gums become infected is by the bacteria that grows in our mouths. We always have some amount of this harmful bacteria in our mouths, but right after eating, the concentration of this bacteria is the highest. This is because the bacteria feed off the food left behind in our mouths. This increased bacterium combined with open wounds on the gums sets you up for gum infection.

Toothpicks can also cause long-term damage to your gums. The tissue in your gums has a hard time healing, and sometimes, may not even be able to heal without the help of oral surgery. Long time toothpick users have been studied, and their gums were found to have tiny micro-abrasions from their toothpick use.

This minor damage indicates serious wear on the gums, and what's even worse, is that the damaged tissue can't ever truly come back. Please give us a call to learn more about other methods to keep food from in-between your teeth.
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