Lodged Foreign Bodies

friends eating at picnic table

Help! That piece of food is lodged under your gums and it won't come out. Don't worry, catching a stray popcorn kernel or tortilla chip crumb in your gumline every now and then is pretty common. However, you'll want to remove those lodged foreign bodies quickly so your gums don't get irritated or infected. Here's your next steps.

3 Tricks for Removing Food From Your Gums

If a quick jiggle with your tongue doesn't dislodge the food, don't persist or you could cause further irritation. Try these tips for removing food from under your gums instead:

  • Swish a little water around your mouth. This could loosen up some of those stubborn food particles and free them from your gums.
  • Grab a piece of dental floss. Gently work the floss in between your teeth and along your gums to dislodge the foreign body.
  • Try a toothpick. Very, very carefully run the toothpick along the gumline, but be extra careful to not push the food deeper into the gum.

How Your Dentist Can Help With Lodged Food

Still stuck? That's okay, your dentist and dental hygienist are ready and willing to help. They are equipped with special tools to see exactly where that pesky particle is trapped and remove it for good. Plus, your dentist can make sure that irritation hasn't turned into an infection. Don't be shy about giving the dentist a call; it won't be their first or last emergency appointment to remove a popcorn kernel.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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