Chewing gum is a common habit in many people, especially when it comes to sugar-free gum. Chewing on gum itself has many benefits such as improving your dental health by increasing the flow of saliva in your mouth and as well as provide a good exercise for your jaws.
But when you have temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and your jaw is aching, can chewing gum help provide relief? Dentists at Icon Dental Center Everett and Seattle say chewing gum is not going to help you reduce the pain in your jaw.
To understand why you’ll first need to understand what TMJ is.
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What is TMJ Disorder?
- The temporomandibular joint is the part at which your lower jaw connects to your skull. This joint is crucial for the movement of your jaw such as opening and closing your mouth, talking, eating, and moving your jaw from one side to the other. When this joint is suffering from inflammation and irritation, it becomes a condition known as TMJ disorder.
What Causes TMJ?
There are several reasons why you suffer from TMJ. Some of the most common are listed below.
- Grinding and clenching of teeth
- Facial trauma
- Misaligned teeth
Along with these causes, there are several symptoms of TMJ too, these are :
- Facial pain
- Pain while chewing food
- Jaw pain
Why Is Chewing Gum Bad for TMJ?
- Many people believe that by chewing gum, they can find immediate relief from most jaw pains. But dentists say this isn’t the case, especially if you suffer from TMJ because the symptoms of this condition are worsened if you start misusing your jaw.
Since chewing gum requires constant movement of the jaw, and puts pressure on your teeth, it is only going to aggravate the condition. You will start to feel significant pain if you don’t stop chewing gum. It could even end up with a severe headache or a migraine attack.
- So how do you treat TMJ if the gum isn’t the cure you were looking for?
TMJ – Available Treatments
- First and foremost, make sure to give up on your habit of chewing gum for as long as the symptoms of TMJ are there. Once you do that, make sure to avoid eating food that irritates the jaw or anything that is hard to chew.
Once you have made these small changes in your diet and lifestyle, get in touch with a dentist immediately. Your dentist can figure out the cause of TMJ pain and will help you find the best treatment for it. If the condition has worsened, the dentist may even recommend surgery for permanent relief.
- TMJ is a very uncomfortable condition that can ruin your day to day life. If you find it difficult to finish your daily tasks because of the many symptoms of this condition, come visit Icon Dental Center today for a routine dental check-up and exam.
Our top-tiered dentists deal with TMJ patients regularly and they know what works best when it comes to a permanent solution. Contact us today and book an appointment either by phone or through our website.