Posted .

There are some times when something can get stubbornly stuck in your gumline. This is even more likely to happen if you’re eating a tough food like beef jerky, nuts, seeds, trail mix, or popcorn. There are also rare instances when these food particles can get stubbornly stuck in your gums and even cause distress. You are even more likely to suffer a problem like this if you have a bad habit of chewing on foreign objects like pencils and pens.

To help you safely remove a stuck piece of food from between your teeth, Dr. Roy A. Smith, III offers these basic tips.

If you’re experiencing discomfort, pressure, or pain, you need to remember to stay calm. You should never try to use toothpicks or any kind of sharp tool to attempt extracting it from your gums. This could potentially cause a serious injury.

A simple strand of waxed dental floss is the first thing you should reach for. It’s important not to force the floss or snap it between the teeth as this could also injure your gums. If you have one on hand, a floss threader loaded with waxed dental floss can help you work the strand at a different angle.

An oral irrigator like Waterpik® can also be very helpful. The concentrated stream of water could wear away or wash away the food particle without any undue pressure. Sometimes it can even clear debris that are helping hold the piece of food in place.

If you still cannot remove the food item from your gums and you live in the Vestavia Hills, Alabama, area, you should call 205-979-8070 to seek further advice or professional extraction at Rocky Ridge Dental Associates.