Posted .

It’s relatively common for a small piece of tough food, like meat fibers, popcorn hulls, fruit peels and even small, hard seeds, to become lodged in your gums while you’re eating. Sometimes it can be cleared away by brushing and rinsing. Unfortunately, there are also times when something gets stuck uncomfortably in your gums.

In a situation like this, your dentist, Dr. Olaitan Okediji-Registe, offers these tips to help you remove a piece of food from your gums.

First, you should never attempt to use toothpicks or sharp, pointed tools to pry the object loose. This could injure your gums or even damage your teeth.

Waxed dental floss is the first thing you should reach for to try to remove an object that is stuck in the gumline. The waxy coating allows the strand to slide easier between teeth to work around the foreign object. You should never force the floss into place because it could seriously injure your gums.

If you can’t loosen it with dental floss, you could try using a dental fountain or oral water jet. If your gums are irritated, you could try to rinse with lukewarm saltwater. This can help loosen the food particle while also soothing the gums.

If your best efforts fail to clear the object from your gums, you should call Magnificent Mile Family Dental at 312-280-0034 to have it safely removed.