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Sometimes pieces of food and meat fibers can get lodged between your teeth or in your gum line while you are eating. Most of the time, it’s mundane and you can rinse them away with lukewarm salt water or antiseptic mouthwash. This situation could be more serious if you have a habit of chewing on objects like pencils and pens and a fragment of the foreign object breaks off.

Even if you’re in discomfort, distress or pain, you will want to keep a cool, level head. Our team at Lighthouse Dental & Orthodontics is pleased to offer the following tips to help you safely remove a foreign object or food particle that has become stuck in your gums.

— First, you should 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 as well as wash away blood and give you a better view of the situation.

— In most situations like this, 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 seriously injure your gums.

— If waxed dental floss doesn’t dislodge the object, you could try a dental fountain or oral water jet to loosen it and any other debris blocking you from direct access.

Finally, if you still can’t easily remove the material from your gums, we invite you to call Lighthouse Dental & Orthodontics in Riverton, Utah at 801-871-3499 to seek professional treatment. Dr. Samuel Richey and our team are always happy to assist!