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From time to time we’ve all had a small piece of food, like a meat fiber or popcorn hull, get stuck in our gum line. On rare occasions something hard might even puncture the gums. This is even more likely if you have a bad habit of chewing on foreign objects like pencils and pens. Most of the time you can free it by vigorously rinsing the area with lukewarm saltwater. Even if it doesn’t free the object it might loosen it or provide you with better access to free it.

Sometimes when something is stuck in your gums, it can cause pressure and even pain. Even if you are in distress, you need to stay calm. Don’t try to use toothpicks or sharp, pointed tools to pry the object out of your gums. This could cause even greater injury and damage.

Waxed dental floss is the ideal first tool to try to remove a foreign object from your gums. 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, as it could seriously injure your gums.

If waxed dental floss can’t dislodge the object you could try dental fountain or oral water jet. Sometimes vigorously rinsing your mouth with lukewarm salt water can also help loosen the foreign object from your gum line. It can also help soothe injured gum tissues.

If you still can’t remove the object you should call Dr. David A. Browne at 815-344-6811 to schedule an appointment.