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How Gum Chewing is Impacting Your TMJ
Posted on 12/20/2019 by Young Jun DDS MD FACS
As dental professionals, we can agree that chewing gum on occasion can have certain benefits. It can remove any remaining food particles that get stuck in your teeth after eating and outside of your brushing routine.
It can also help to give your breath a boost. The American Dental Association has even endorsed sugar-free chewing gum to help patients who experience dry mouth produce saliva, which helps fight dental plaque and tooth cavities.
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular (tem-puh-roe-man-DIB-u-lur) joint (TMJ) is what connects your skull to the bone in your jaw. A disorder in this particular joint can cause severe pain your jaw area and in the muscles that help your jaw move. We have found that the pain associated with most TMJ disorders is not permanent and can be quickly and non-surgically repaired right here in our office.
Surgery is always a last resort, so if you are experiencing any type of discomfort in your jaw muscles or movement, schedule a consultation with us right away. In addition, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have a TMJ disorder that needs to be treated.
Pain around your ears and throat, inability to chew without pain, pain in your facial tissue, locked jaw – unable to close your mouth, or open your mouth, and of course tenderness and swelling in your jawbone.
How Does Gum Chewing Affect My TMJ?
Chewing gum strains these TMJ joints in your mouth, as well as all of the muscle and tissue in your face. Ultimately, chewing gum repeatedly breaks these joints down and cause pain with simple movements of your face or jaw.
There is no clear evidence that TMJ is directly caused by chewing gum, therefore we recommend keeping it to a minimum. If you have questions about chewing gum and maybe experiencing any of the symptoms here, please give us a call to schedule a consultation with one of our oral hygiene experts.