With Halloween comes popcorn balls and buttery buckets of popcorn to accompany spooky movies. With popcorn comes hulls and the occasional inflamed gum. Ouch! The shape of the popcorn hull is perfect for sliding up and between your tooth and gum, and because popcorn hulls are not easily broken down by saliva (like other foods that might become lodged) the problem can become serious. Luckily you can always fall back on your trusty dentist to free that little sucker, but before that try these tips to help dislodge the husk! Happy snacking!
Rinse your toothbrush in warm water and then gently brush downwards as if wiping the hull off your tooth. Do this repeatedly and see if it brings about any change.
Work a piece of floss gently up between the teeth and then, pressing towards the side the hull is lodged under, pull the floss down and against the tooth.
Try a dental pick or a toothpick (be careful!) to gently try and loosen the hull and work it out from under the gum.
To help fight infection, rinse repeatedly with warm salt water. It should also help with inflammation. If the pain you are experiencing is intense, use an anti-inflammatory drug or an over the counter pain reliever.
Try flushing the hull out with a water pik. Use it on a lower setting so as not to push the hull up further into the gum.
If all else fails call your dentist! If left too long the hull can cause serious bacterial growth and infection. Dentists are usually better able to see where the hull is stuck and have different tools for removing it. Dr. Arzegar of the Lifetime Smiles doesn’t want you to hold off on the popcorn. Call him today if you experience this or any other dental issues!