How to Get Popcorn Kernel Out of Gums

Andy Waters
Latest posts by Andy Waters (see all)

Popcorn is a snack loved by many people, perfect for sitting back and watching a movie, whether it’s at the cinema, or in the comfort of your own home.

Salty popcorn, sweet popcorn, or even popcorn with butter. Whatever the type of popcorn you like to enjoy, there is one problem common to all: getting kernel stuck in your gums.

It’s one of the worst parts of eating popcorn, that doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it’s an absolute pain. It is when you’re eating popcorn, and part of the kernel gets stuck in your gums, and no matter how much you try to remove it with your tongue, it simply won’t budge.

This can become quite irritating, and even painful in some cases. And the thing is, you can’t just leave it there. Because although the kernel might sometimes eventually come loose, it could also potentially cause your gums some serious issues long term.

But…how do you get popcorn kernels out of your gums? Is there a specific method you can use?
We’ll actually give you a few different methods, as well as some tips on the matter.

Does that sound good? Then let’s get right into it!

The Best Ways to Get Popcorn Kernel Out of Your Gums

There are many ways you can go about removing a piece of popcorn kernel from your gums. Usually, in the best case scenarios, a flick of your tongue, or using your nail, should do the trick.

But if the kernel is stuck and won’t budge, you might have to try something a little more full-on.

Here are our top three methods for helping remove popcorn kernel from your gums:

Floss Your Mouth

Flossing is one of the best, and easiest methods, to get popcorn kernel unstuck from your gums. Be gentle with the flossing, and start with one side of the teeth, making a c-shape around it.

Move the floss back and forth, and up and down. Make sure you are reaching all the way down to the gum between the teeth, and this should help loosen up any debris or dirt, including the popcorn kernel.

However, it is very important that you are not being too aggressive, as otherwise, you will not only be hurting your gums, but you might also push the popcorn kernel down even deeper into place!

Oh, and the best thing about floss? You can very easily carry a small pack of floss with you when you travel, or even when you go to the cinema! Handy, easy, and most of the time it’s super-efficient. Should solve your problem straight away!

Brush the Kernel Out

Although flossing is likely to be more effective, you could also try brushing your teeth, and angling the brush so that you push the kernel of popcorn out of your gums, where it is stuck.

The best way to go about this is to hold the brush at a 45-degree angle, near the gum line, and to perform a gentle downward motion so that your brush from the base of your gums outward, helping release anything that is stuck. (If brushing the lower teeth, then you would have to perform an upward motion, in order to still push from the base of the gums outwards!)

Ideally, the bristles of the brush will be able to move and shift the popcorn kernel that is stuck, effectively pushing it out so that it is removed! It might take a few goes, but keep at it for a while, and hopefully, it will solve the issue.

Oh, and pro-tip reminder, you should be brushing your teeth for around two minutes at a time, twice per day, in order to maintain dental health. It is also important to brush all three sides of the teeth (yup, three), the outer surface, the inner surface, and the chewing surface.

Rinse With Saltwater

If neither flossing nor brushing has worked for you, we have one last main method that you can try out, so fingers crossed! For this, you need to prepare a mix of warm salt water, and rinse your mouth out with it. The saltwater might be able to move the kernel out from the gum so that it is removed.

And if not, at the very least the saltwater will ease the gum irritation until you can seek professional dental help!

To create the saltwater, you can simply put a teaspoon of sea salt in a glass of warm water. Just remember to not rinse your mouth with saltwater more than three times or so per day, as too much will actually begin to damage your enamel!

What Happens if You Leave Popcorn Kernels Stuck in Your Gums?

If you’re lucky, the popcorn kernel will end up shifting and moving, so that it becomes unstuck, falling out of your gums.

That being said, you shouldn’t wait for this to happen on its own accord, for two main reasons: Firstly, because it might never happen, and the popcorn might be stuck permanently.

Secondly, because while the popcorn is stuck in your gums, it will be causing negative consequences that can severely affect your health.

If left there, the popcorn kernel can cause severe inflammation of the gums, and irritation. Eventually, it can even cause a dangerous gum abscess! It could complicate your dental health, and you could even end up needing a big dental intervention, sometimes even surgery.

So although it can sometimes be hard and frustrating to try and remove a popcorn kernel stuck in your gums, please keep trying until you succeed. You will feel a lot better, be a lot more comfortable, and you will avoid severe complications down the line.

Final Thoughts

If you get popcorn kernels stuck in your gums, something rather common if you regularly enjoy a popcorn snack, there are many ways in which you can try to remove it.

Firstly, you will likely try using your tongue, and your nails. But if these don’t work, we recommend trying to floss, brush, or rinse your mouth out with saltwater.

The main thing is that you should be trying to remove the popcorn kernel as soon as possible because if left stuck in your gums it can cause irritation and inflammation, and over time can also cause severe complications in your dental health.