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Getting a piece of food stuck between your teeth during the course of a meal is rarely a serious cause for concern. However, there are times when you might be eating hard or tough food like beef jerky or popcorn and a piece of it becomes lodged in your gums. This usually causes pressure and discomfort and sometimes it can even be painful. 

To help you remove the object safely from your gums Dr. Paul Vartabedian offers these basic tips:

— You should never attempt to use toothpicks or sharp, pointed tools to pry at it. This could injure your gums or even damage your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with lukewarm salt water can help soothe irritated gum tissues and clear the area to give you a better view of the situation.

— 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 it could cause further injury to your gums.

— If waxed dental floss doesn’t dislodge the object you could try a water flosser or oral water jet.  This can wash it loose and remove additional debris to give you better access to try a second attempt at flossing.

Finally, if you still can’t easily remove the object from your gums, please call our office in Lakeport, California at 707-263-1496 for further advice or treatment.