Chewing gum is a part of everyday life for many people. Some do it to relieve stress, others chew gum to freshen their breath. But many patients come to us wondering if their gum chewing is the root cause of their TMJ disorder?
The simple answer is no.
However, chewing gum can contribute to ongoing pain because it overworks the temporomandibular joints. That’s why if you’re a TMJ disorder sufferer, you may want to consider swapping Big Red for an Altoid.
Overworking the Jaw Joint
Avoiding gum could reduce chronic pain and discomfort, and even headaches.
Studies have been conducted to look at the link between chewing gum daily and suffering regular headaches. A small study published in a 2014 issue of Pediatric Neurology looked at a group of 30 youths — all gum-chewers — with chronic or recurring tension or migraine headaches. The youths were asked to stop chewing gums for a month.
The headaches stopped in 19 of the participants, and were less frequent and severe in seven of them (the remaining four noted no change). Twenty of the participants that had noticed a complete or partial reduction in their headaches started chewing gum and all of them noticed the headaches returned within a few days to a week.
Other Tips for Reducing TMJ Pain
In addition to throwing out the gum, there are a few strategies to try to reduce TMJ pain.
Stress Management: For many people, stress causes chronic teeth grinding or clenching, which can lead to or exacerbate TMJ pain. Managing stress through yoga, meditation, therapy and exercise can lead to less teeth grinding and related pain.
Dietary Modifications: Constant crunching or chewing on tough foods is not good for the TMJ. Try to eliminate hard, crunchy foods and follow a diet of only soft foods that put less pressure on the jaw. Soups are a good option, and meats and vegetables can be cooked and pureed to a softer consistency.
Professional Treatment: If these at-home therapies fail to relieve pain and discomfort, it is time for a professional intervention with us at Pasadena Pain Management. Our proven TMJ disorder treatment options have helped thousands of suffers across Southern California. And, we can also design a customized plan based around your unique needs!
Contact Us Today for a FREE CONSULTATION.
About Pasadena Pain Management
Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta® treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.