What You Need to Know About Gum Infections
You may not think that your favorite snack could turn into a life-threatening infection. However, that’s exactly what happened to a British man who discovered that popcorn caused more pain than he could have ever expected.
According to Fox News, Adam Martin felt a piece of popcorn in his back tooth and decided to take matters into his own hands. He then spent several days using various objects to dislodge it, to the point that he damaged his gums.
That damage caused him to develop an infection of the interior lining of his heart.
Having survived the health crisis, Adam Martin now admits that he should have gone to the dentist from the beginning. We also think that his wife, Helen, said it best in her statement that, “Your gums are a bacterial highway to your heart.”
Although Adam’s situation involved a sudden gum infection, long term untreated gum disease can also lead to similar types of health issues.
Is Popcorn Safe to Eat?
We first want to address the issue of popcorn. Yes, you can still eat this popular snack. However, you do need to use caution to make sure that you avoid dental damage.
Never chew on unpopped kernels. Their hard surface can damage dental restorations and cause teeth to chip or crack. You can also opt for hull-less varieties that are less likely to have pieces come off and get stuck in your gums.
When Should I Get Help Dislodging Trapped Food?
A piece of food that gets stuck between your tooth and the gum line is very irritating. You may feel a sensation of something being stuck there along with some pain when you chew other food.
If you can see the popcorn kernel or food debris, you can try just brushing your teeth. If it is not too far below the gum line, then gentle brushing could cause it to dislodge.
You can also try flossing between those two teeth. However, this should also be done with caution. If you use an improper flossing technique, it could push the debris further below the gum line. A water flosser may help flush the food debris away.
Once you’ve tried those options, we recommend that you stop and give us a call. Toothpicks, fingernails and other implements can all lead to gum injuries like the one that sent Mr. Martin to the hospital.
What Are the Signs of a Gum Infection?
A dental abscess can occur with a stuck piece of food just like it can with other dental problems. As the food particle breaks down, bacteria begin to develop beneath the gum line. This can lead to symptoms such as swelling, pain and pus developing at the affected site.
In severe cases, you may run a fever and experience other symptoms such as fatigue and muscle pain, indicating a need for immediate treatment. An abscess is a serious medical situation.
How Can You Treat a Gum Problem?
We treat food-related gum infections by removing the particle or debris that led to the issue in the first place. You may also need a deep cleaning to fully remove plaque and tartar that contribute to the problem.
We can then apply antibiotic medications directly to the infected area of your gums. Afterwards, you may need to take antibiotics for a short period of time to fully clear up the infection.
Mild cases of gum infections can often be cleared up with minimally invasive treatments such as a thorough dental cleaning. Be sure to pop into our office as soon as you notice the signs of an infection. A little self-care now can save you from some serious heartache later.
News Source and Photo Credit: Fox News