Home » Popcorn Kernel Stuck in the Throat: Ways to Remove Food Stuck in Throat

Popcorn Kernel Stuck in the Throat: Ways to Remove Food Stuck in Throat

When we watch a movie, especially at the theatre, popcorns are a must.

Even though we eat an entire bucket of popcorn in the first few minutes of the movie, we cannot go without them.

The danger of popcorn snacks, like them getting stuck in your throat, is real. If it ever happens to you and you should know what to do. 

What is a Popcorn Kernel?

Well, it may be shocking to many, but popcorn kernels are seeds! Given the right environment, they can easily germinate.

What is a Popcorn Kernel?

The ones that are sold commercially aren’t the same thing, though, so you don’t have to worry about unnecessary plants growing in your kitchen.

They have been modified for their profit-making business. Many people may think so, but popcorns do not come under the category of nuts. 

What Causes Popcorn to Get Stuck in Your Throat?

The feeling of having something stuck in your throat is called globulus pharyngeus. It is usually caused because of a slight infection or inflammation of your throat.

(Inflammation means to have slight swelling or redness) Sometimes, you feel it while you are experiencing allergies (pollen or dust).

Other causes include stress and/or anxiety, acid reflux, post-nasal dripping, and sinusitis. 

When the food is dry, you get solid food stuck in your throat. It sometimes happens that when you are not producing enough saliva, and you swallow something, it may get stuck in your throat. 

What Happens If You Get a Popcorn Kernel Stuck Near Your Tonsils?

Before you read this topic, we want to emphasize to you that this is very rare. Please do not be alarmed. The wise thing to do is to brace yourself. 

When something passes from your mouth to your throat, it has to cross the hard and soft palate on its way.

If a piece of popcorn is stuck near your tonsils, it is possible that it scratched your palates on its way down. You may feel some irritation due to that.

The chances of a bacterial infection near the place it is dislodged in are very high. Because it is an example of a foreign body, your immune system identifies it as alien.

You need to go to a dental surgeon to get your palate checked. Next, you need to go to the ENT specialist in order to make sure things are not amiss. 

How To Remove Popcorn Shell in Throat?

The following are a few examples of (removal techniques) how you can remove stuck food from your throat.

  1. Powerful coughing
  2. Sips of water may help
  3. Soda
  4. Slice of bread, banana
  5. Alternating between coughing and swallowing
  6. Olive oil
  7. Egg yolk
  8. If nothing helps, you have to rush to receive immediate medical care. Lack of medical attention may worsen the situation.
  9. It may lead to inflammation, infection, swelling, or difficulty in swallowing and breathing. Upon seeing signs of airway compromise, the medical experts will handle it. 

Home Remedies For Popcorn Stuck in Throat

These remedies are similar to the ones that are used when a popcorn shell or other food may be stuck in your throat. 

  1. Powerful coughing
  2. Sips of water may help
  3. Soda
  4. Slice of beard, banana
  5. Alternating between coughing and swallowing
Home Remedies For Popcorn Stuck in Throat
  1. Olive oil
  2. Egg yolk
  3. If all these tips are ineffective, it may be a sign of a medical emergency. Immediately take the patient to a hospital.
  4. They will check for signs of airway compromise or an airway hazard. The lack of medical attention will definitely worsen the situation.

How Do I Heal a Sore in the Back of My Throat Due to a Popcorn Kernel Getting Stuck?

  1. Saltwater gargles – mix one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water and gargle about 3 times a day.
  2. Honey – add 2 tablespoons of honey to lukewarm water or a hot drink. That is helpful for upper airway symptoms that you may be feeling, like a sore throat or a slight cough. 
  3. Lemon juice – Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to a glad of warm water. Vitamin C will help fight off infection and increase your immunity. 
  4. Herbal tea – Chamomile, peppermint, and clove teas are great options when you have a sore throat, especially because of popcorn.
  5. Ointments – there are some gels and ointments that are available for over-the-counter purchase.
  6. If the popcorn kernel hurts your palate on its way down, applying the gel may relieve the burning that you may be feeling, especially while drinking something hot. 
  7. Soft tissues usually take about 3 to 4 days to heal. So don’t panic if something like this happens to you.
  8. Give it some time, use some home remedies and see the results! If you experience pain, you may take pain medicines like Tylenol.

Will a Popcorn Kernel Dissolve in Your Throat?

There are many foods that the saliva can dissolve. Most carbohydrates and other soft foods are easily dissolved in the mouth.

Popcorn kernels cannot be dissolved. They persist in the gums or throat if not removed immediately. They give the feeling of a sore throat if they are stuck. 

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What is the Part of the Popcorn Kernel That Gets Stuck in Your Teeth?

The inner-most part of the popcorn, called the hull, is the piece of popcorn stuck in your teeth!

It is the darkest part of the popcorn. 

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Can Popcorn Get Stuck in Your Lungs?

Sometimes, food may get stuck in your windpipe (trachea). That is called aspiration. This food may end up in your lungs.

So to answer the original question, yes, popcorn can get stuck in your lungs.

If this does happen, it is prudent for you to know the signs and symptoms of corn aspiration.

Can Popcorn Get Stuck in Your Lungs?

They include the following:

  1. Frequent coughing – this may happen due to the foreign body that is stuck in your trachea. The irritation caused by the corn is to blame for the bad cough. 
  2. Shortness of breath
  3. Coughing up blood
  4. pneumonia-like symptoms 

If these symptoms present themselves for more than a few days, you must go to a hospital. A physical examination and chest x-ray will be done by the medics.

There is a management of common foreign bodies when infiltrated in the body that doctors are aware of, so you need not worry. Normal clinic wait times are to be expected as it is not a life-or-death situation. 

If the kernel is cooked, there is nothing to worry about. If it is uncooked, that is the cause of the cough, especially in children. 

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Ways To Remove Food Stuck in Throat

We all get excited when we see our favorite dish at the dinner table. In our excitement, we sometimes forget to chew and just gulp on ahead.

Well, if something does get stuck in your throat, we’ve got your back. Here are a few tried and tested ways you can remove food that’s stuck in your throat!

  1. Drinking coca-cola or a fizzy drink may be able to help you. 
  2. Simethicone, an over-the-counter medication, is believed to help. That helps increase the gas production in your stomach. The pressure of this gas helps dislodge the food that is stuck in your throat.
  3. Water may help wash down the stuck food. 
  4. Wet or moist foods can help push the food that is stuck in your throat. 
  5. Baking soda produces effervescence when mixed with liquids. This gas helps remove the stuck food and slides it into your stomach
  6. Butter, being greasy, may help lubricate it.
  7. When nothing else works, you may want to visit your local physician to remove the stuck food. 

Pro-tip – if you feel your nails getting blue, bluish skin, or your breaths coming in with more effort, rush to the hospital. These are classical signs of choking. Urgent care is essential.  

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When To Seek Emergency Care?

There are a few instances where emergency care is needed. Some examples are – 

  1. If you feel things getting stuck in your throat on a regular basis, it may be a sign of an underlying condition (esophageal cancer).
  2. You have to visit your physician for the earliest possible detection and treatment. You may have to deal with the clinic wait times during these appointments.  
  3. If you feel no relief despite taking pain medicines.
  4. If the person is clawing at their throat, coughing violently, and are unable to breathe, chances are that they are choking.
  5. If they have bluish skin, it is a sign of less oxygen reaching the body. Urgent care is needed to treat the person before permanent damage is done. 
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Getting Help From Your Doctor

If you feel like you choke frequently, there are chances of you having an underlying condition.

You must approach your local doctor for tests and a proper diagnosis(Clinical recommendation).

Along with this, you have to keep your oral hygiene in check. Make sure that there are no popcorn kernels stuck between teeth or in your gums (KEY RECOMMENDATIONS).

Getting Help From Your Doctor

If you fail to remove it by mere brushing, ask your dentist what can be done about it. 

A practical thing to do would be to learn the Heimlich maneuver in order to save anyone from choking. 

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When you sit with a bag of popcorn in your hand, you must be careful. Ingesting any foreign substance will always result in trouble.

But you do not have to worry. Why did you ask? Well, that is because you have read this article and now are prepared for anything that may happen while you munch on your favorite movie snack.

So sit back and enjoy the movie. And reassure your friends and family that even if something does happen to them, they have their own superhero sitting right next to them!

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