Humans are a creature of habit. We do things the same way and follow the same routine because it helps keep us comfortable. There are some habits that are good and some habits that are harmful to our health. There are also other habits that fall somewhere in the middle.
They are not bad, but they can also create problems. One habit that people should think about is chewing gum. They need to recognize whether their habit of chewing gum can lead to pain in their jaw.
Gum Chewing and TMJ
While some people may feel pain simply because they chew gum for such a long time that they exhaust their jaw muscles, that is a type of pain that is usually temporary. Once you stop chewing the gum, the muscles will get a chance to recover and the pain will go away. There is another condition that can lead to a pain that does not always go away so easily. TMJ is a condition that affects the joint and the muscles that connect the jaw to the skull.
There are many causes for TMJ, but it is possible that excessive gum chewing can make this condition worse. The constant movement of the jaw while chewing gum and the motions of the jaw while chewing gum can cause stress on the TMJ. That stress can cause the jaw to go out of alignment and that can lead to problems with TMJ disorder. Ione of the main symptoms of TMJ is pain. The pain is not always constant, and the severity of the pain will vary, but it can interfere with the way a person lives their life.
One of the problems with TMJ and gum chewing is that stopping once the pain has begun does not always guarantee that the condition will get any better. Unless the jaw is able to get back into alignment, the pain can continue.
We Can Help Like anything in life, chewing gum in moderation should not cause any problem. If you notice any pain while chewing gum it is best to stop and get an exam to see the extent of the problem.
For more information about this or any other oral health issue, contact our office to schedule an appointment.