Dr Jolene Dague applauds healthy snack choices. Popcorn made without butter and hydrogenated oil and only lightly salted definitely falls into this category. It’s by far the better choice compared to sugary, fatty snacks like candy bars and snack cakes. The concern with popcorn comes from its potential to damage your smile. Popcorn kernels, husks and un-popped seeds can wreak havoc on your smile. We’re not advising you to avoid popcorn, we just want you to be aware of the potential issues. Let’s take a closer look below:
Your favorite cinema snack is a double-pronged danger: Much like potato chips, popcorn can wedge between teeth and foster bacterial growth. Un-popped kernels are even worse. “When it gets to the bottom of the bag, people don’t realize that biting on kernels can break your teeth,” Dr. Dorfman says. Read more at Prevention
Flossing Is Extra Important On Movie Night
The amount of dental problems that can originate from a single bite of popcorn is astounding. From cracked, broken or chipped teeth to inflamed gums and abscesses, there are plenty of ways that things to go awry. For instance, we’ve all felt that annoying piece of popcorn stuck below our gum line. The fragile space along the bottom of the tooth, known as the sulcus, can easily become inflamed and sore if a popcorn husk becomes lodged. If this occurs and flossing and swishing isn’t cutting it, tie a knot in your dental floss and try again. Sometimes, the extra floss width can catch the elusive piece and allow you to remove it. Read more about the potential for kernal chaos:
The number of broken and chipped teeth has doubled since health conscious people started giving up “fatty” crisps as a snack in favour of so-called gourmet popcorn, dentists said.
Uncooked kernels are to blame for the problem, with cinema-goers often unsuspectingly biting down on one of the hard husks while engrossed in a film.
Small pieces of the food can also often get lodged between teeth and if not treated quickly cause gum disease and even abscesses.
Don’t Ignore Gum Inflammation or Tooth Pain
Something to keep in mind about popcorn problems is that they can occur days, weeks or even longer after you’ve had your snack. Sometimes, mysterious inflammation and/or pain is the result of missing just the tiniest component. A husk can burrow down into our gums or become stuck in a tight space between teeth and there’s trouble down the road. We save numerous patients from undetected problems during their regular dental cleanings and checkups. Other times, they know that some form of damage has occurred — usually due to biting down on an un-popped kernel — and they wisely see us right away for treatment.
Read the following and learn how a tiny portion of trapped popcorn can lead to losing an entire tooth:
Popcorn is one of the worst dental offenders. “Its not just the kernels that are bad for your teeth, but also the thin shell that surrounds the kernel,” says Chevy Chase, MD cosmetic dentist Claudia C. Cotca, DDS. “Oftentimes, it slides off and gets lodged between the gums and teeth, easily going unnoticed.” If it isn’t removed in time, it can cause bone loss and possibly the loss of the tooth, too. “If left undisturbed, decay can cause cavities, abscess and tooth loss, and can also shift your bite and change your smile,” adds New York cosmetic dentist Irwin Smigel, DDS.
Be Proactive To Avoid Escalating Problems
Don’t discount any oral pains or issues you may experience. The key to easily handling most dental problems is addressing them ASAP. Ignoring issues with your teeth and gums is bad for your health, your wallet and the quality of your smile. Call Dague Dental Solutions today at (563) 386-9770 or use the contact form on the website to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dague.