How to Get Food Unlodged From Your Gums

by Elle Hanson

Getting food caught in your gums can be embarrassing, uncomfortable and unhygienic. Fortunately, good dental hygiene is usually sufficient to remove and prevent food from being caught in the gums. However, if you are unable to extract a piece of food from your gums using standard methods, visit your dentist. This is especially important if you notice the area becoming red and tender. The last thing you need is an infection in your mouth.

Items you will need

  • Toothpick
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Salt
  • 1 cup of water
Step 1

Use your tongue to work out a piece of food that is caught in your gums. This is a good option if you are in a social setting or do not have access to your toothbrush or dental floss.

Step 2

Use a toothpick to remove the food particle. Many restaurants provide free toothpicks, making it a good alternative if you're in a social setting and your tongue isn't doing the trick. Probe gently, being careful not to dig the toothpick too deep into your gums. Don't use toothpicks frequently, since they can damage tooth enamel.

Step 3

Brush your teeth, concentrating on the area where the food is caught. Use a little bit of toothpaste and water to help clean away any bacteria that has accumulated around the food particle.

Step 4

Floss your teeth, concentrating on the area where the food is caught. Be sure to floss under the tooth and press gently into the gum. Depending on how frequently you floss and whether or not the area is infected, flossing may be uncomfortable. This is not a reason to stop.

Step 5

Swish saline solution around in your mouth. To make a saline solution, mix some salt and water together in a cup. Swishing this in your mouth will kill bacterial growth and may help your body to push the food particle out of your gums.

Step 6

Visit a dentist if you are unable to remove the food particle and it does not dislodge after several days. It may need to be professionally extracted to prevent an abscess or serious infection.

Warnings

  • Avoid alcohol based mouthwash, which can actually dry out your mouth and promote further bacterial growth.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images