Popcorn has been a popular snack for people of all ages since the 1800’s. However, it is not necessarily the snack preferred by most dentists. In fact, many dentists will go out of their way to avoid consuming popcorn due to the number of patients frequenting their dental office identifying popcorn as the culprit of their teeth pain.
Beyond the excess salt, butter, and sugar it can be coated in, popcorn is by far one of the worst causes of dental damage. And, although you may assume biting down on an un-popped kernel is the worst consequence, the damage caused by the hull (the thin shell wrapped around the corn kernel) becoming wedged between your gums and teeth should also come with great caution.
Damage Caused to Teeth by Un-Popped Popcorn Kernels
If you bite down on an un-popped popcorn kernel you could experience:
- A cracked tooth
- A broken tooth
- Inflamed gums
Damage Caused to Teeth by Popcorn Hulls
If a popcorn hull it is not dislodged from your gums and teeth it can lead to any one of the following consequences:
- Bone loss
- A "Popcorn Abscess"
- Decay leading to a cavity
- Tooth deterioration
- Loss of the tooth altogether
How to Safely Remove A Popcorn Hull from Your Teeth and Gums
The next time you are faced with the aggravating experience of a popcorn hull burying itself in your gums, forget hurting yourself with a toothpick. You risk shoving it further into your gums. Instead, try the following steps to remove it before it becomes too swollen and sore:
- Floss up and down between your teeth and then press hard against the side with the popcorn to loosen it as you floss.
- Swish with warm saltwater to help relieve discomfort and see if it will dislodge.
- Use a Waterpik to gently irrigate the deep crevices of your gums.
- Knot a piece of floss to add extra bulk and run it through your teeth where the hull is trapped.
When to See A Dentist
If you are unable to remove the popcorn hull or are suspicious you may have cracked a tooth, make an appointment with your dentist or dental hygienist. They can offer a thorough inspection without further damaging your gums, or perform a filling, dental crown, or veneer if necessary.
Exceptional Dentistry in Eagle, Idaho
At Castlebury Dental, we provide a range of dental services including Invisalign and other cosmetic dental procedures for people of all ages. Feel free to contact us here with any questions or concerns and schedule a consultation today!