Chewing gum and blowing bubbles is an American ritual. Adults and children enjoy the flavor and fun of a piece of gum. Even the American Dental Association (ADA) states that if you have good dental health, chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal could help you prevent cavities.
On the other hand, evidence suggests that excessive chewing can contribute to temporomandibular joint disorder and headaches associated with it. The American Dental Association at mouthhealthy.org suggests avoiding chewing gum as one of their “less is often best” approaches to treating TMD (temporomandibular joint disorders). Other “less is often best” approaches include:
- Eat softer foods
- Avoid nail biting
- Modify your pain with heat packs
- Practice relaxation techniques to control jaw tension, such as meditation or biofeedback
Chewing gum can increase the pain and symptoms of your temporomandibular joint disorder. Your clicking and discomfort in your jaw can increase with the habitual or extended gum chewing habits. If you have TMD, it is typically due to a misaligned jaw or irregular biting or chewing. When you chew gum it can cause additional stress on your muscles and joints that are already being challenged to function properly.
If for whatever reason you’re experiencing jaw pain, call Dr. Cesar Tapia at ConfiDENT. We are highly trained to treat your jaw pain and offer proven treatment options for TMD. Our goal is to end your jaw pain! The earlier you seek treatment for your jaw pain, the more conservative your treatment options can be.