The Popcorn Dilemma

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Quite often, when I’m doing dental work on a patient, I find a popcorn kernel lodged in-between their gum and tooth. I then ask them ‘ how the movie was.’

Popcorn is yummy, but the hulls have been known to cause many a problem in people’s mouths. Because the hull is concave shaped, it easily gets trapped under the gums against the side of the tooth. It acts as an irritant and often results in an acute localized infection.

If you do get a popcorn kernel stuck between your teeth, here are a few helpful hints on how to remove it.

1) Try to brush it out. Angulate the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gum and try to ‘flick’ it out with a sweeping motion.

2) Floss it out. Try to go as far down to the gum as you can; hug the tooth (shape it like a ‘c’) and move the floss back and forth. This may ease it out.

Note: This may be a good time to review two previous blogs regarding proper Brushing and Flossing techniques.

3) Tooth pick: I don’t usually advise people to use tooth picks to get something out from in-between their teeth, because I don’t want them to damage their gums. But, if you’ve exhausted other methods, and it’s very irritating, try a tooth pick, but take care.

4) Rinse your mouth vigorously and with a lot of force with water or mouthwash and direct it to the affected area and swish it around. If you have a water pick, you can direct the ‘jet’ to where it’s lodged.

5) See the dentist. We have certain instruments that will easily remove the offending kernel.

By all means, don’t let this stop you from enjoying your popcorn, but do take care…and see you at the movies!

About Dr. F. Keshavarz Dentistry

You will find our dentists and office staff to be friendly, gentle, safe and accommodating and diverse in nature. Our staff takes the time to make each person feel comfortable and treated with exceptional care.

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