Individuals get food stuck in and between their teeth all the time. Most of the time it is not an issue to get the food unstuck with floss or a toothbrush and move on with your day. However, once in a while there is a pesky piece of food that seems almost impossible to get out of your teeth. So, what do you do if this is the case?
Sometimes, depending on the food that is stuck between your teeth and where the food is stuck, it can be dangerous and possibly damaging to your teeth to remove it on your own. Remember that you do not need to do everything yourself, and it is okay and oftentimes safer to seek professional help.
In fact, Dr. Hovden at Kenneth Hovden DDS is available to help you when something is stuck between your teeth and is too difficult or dangerous to get out on your own. A dentist can carefully and safely remove the piece of food that is stuck and causing irritation or discomfort.
When to seek professional dental care to get food unstuck from between your teeth:
It is vital to seek care from a dentist if the food stuck between your teeth causes you pain. Also, if you get food stuck deep between your teeth, in your gums, or in a hard-to-reach location like the back teeth it is wise to see a dentist for help.
Trying to take action and fix the problem on your own in any of these situations can lead to consequences. For example, if a piece of food gets stuck in the gums and you accidentally push it farther in, making it harder to get out, you may cause your gums to get infected.
This happened to 41-year-old firefighter Adam Martin in January of 2020. Martin got a popcorn kernel stuck between his teeth that he continuously poked at and tried to get unstuck for months. The constant prodding with random sharp objects led to a potentially fatal blood infection that required open-heart surgery to treat. After the surgery, Martin said, “If I had gone to the dentist in the first place, then none of this would have happened.”
The possible consequences of trying to remove food from between your teeth on your own:
- Puncturing and/or infecting the gums
- Breaking or cracking the teeth
- Creating pain
- Causing existing pain to worsen
In conclusion, if you get food stuck between your teeth that does not easily come out by using floss or brushing your teeth you should take caution and seek professional dental help. It is much better to have a dentist safely remove the food than to try to do it yourself and end up in more pain or with an infection.