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How to remove food stuck behind your palette

Sometimes food particles can get stuck behind the palette, somewhere between the throat and the nasal passage. This can be extremely painful, or a simple annoyance. If the food gets stuck, but is not blocking your airway, it can cause the sinus cavity to swell and impede breathing -- as well as causing significant pain. Do not use these tips if you have food stuck in your throat. The Heimlich manoeuvre is only appropriate when the airway is being blocked.

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  1. Let the food dissolve on its own. As long as it is not impeding your ability to breathe, most food will dissolve on its own, with the help of your saliva.

  2. Sip hot tap water that is not hot enough to burn. The hot water will help the food dissolve faster than your saliva can work it.

  3. Use your finger or a toothbrush to try and dislodge something that is not dissolvable, such as meat.

  4. Gargle well with water to try and swish the piece of food out from behind your palette.

  5. Seek medical assistance, if you can't dislodge the item, or it starts to impede your ability to breath or eat other items.

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Things You'll Need

  • Hot water
  • Toothbrush

About the Author

Michelle Hogan is a writer and the author of 13 books including the 2005 bestselling memoir, "Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (With Kids) in America." Hogan studied English at American University and has been writing professionally since 1998. Her work has appeared in "The New York Times," "Redbook," "Family Circle" and many other publications.

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