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Have you ever been eating some food when suddenly something–pieces of food or meat fibers–get stuck between your teeth or in your gum line? Normally this is uneventful, as you can simply rinse the material away with lukewarm salt water or mouthwash. But sometimes this can present a problem, especially if you have a habit of chewing on non-food objects, like pencils and pens, and a fragment of the foreign object breaks off in your mouth and gets stuck.

The first thing to do if something like this occurs is to remain level-headed. Even if you’re in discomfort, distress or pain, you need to keep a cool head. Our team has a few simple tips to help you safely remove a foreign object or food particle that has become stuck in your gums.

1- Never attempt to use toothpicks or sharp, pointed tools to pry the object out of your gums. This could seriously injure your gums or even damage your teeth. If your gums are bleeding, rinsing your mouth with lukewarm salt water can help soothe injured gum tissues, wash away blood and give you an unobstructed view of the area.

2- In most situations, the first thing you want to reach for is waxed dental floss. The wax coating on the strand can help it slide in and around the object easily. Be sure not to force the floss into place as you don’t want to injure your gums.

3- If waxed dental floss fails to dislodge the object, you could try a water flosser/oral irrigator to loosen it or any debris blocking you from direct access.

Finally, if the above options don’t work and you still can’t easily remove the object from your gums, you can call Dr. John P. Blake’s Lake Orion, Michigan office at 248.693.5800 to seek professional treatment. We are always happy to help you care for your smile!