We know our patients, young and old, love Halloween. It’s fun to dress up in costume, attend spooky parties, and indulge in candy. Unfortunately, a lot of those fun activities can be cut short for people who suffer from TMJ pain.
The good news? Halloween doesn’t have to be a tricky holiday for our TMJ patients — especially when it comes to the treats.
Here are three main categories of candies to avoid on October 31st, or else you’ll be at risk for a painful TMJ flare.
Treats like candied peanuts, crispy M&M’s, Whoppers, Nerds and popcorn balls can be difficult for those with a TMJ disorder to chew. They may be delicious, but they can cause your TMJ pain to flare up, as it requires more chewing intensity and jaw strength to chew crunchy foods than others.
Laffy Taffy, caramels, Skittles, gum, Swedish Fish and Tootsie Rolls are especially tricky for those with TMJ pain. Not only do they get stuck in your teeth, but they also require extra chewing to digest. Sticky and chewy candies show up in trick-or-treat bags more often than not, but if you’ve been diagnosed with a jaw disorder, it may be best to avoid them all together.
Sweets like candied apples, lollipops and Jaw Breakers aren’t recommended for those who experience frequent TMJ pain. They’re difficult on your jaw and teeth and can cause pain well after you’ve finished eating your treat.
Sweets You CAN Enjoy
With all those candies to avoid, there are quite a few sweets that you can enjoy without any unnecessary jaw pain. Raid your trick-or-treat buckets with the following:
- Chocolates like Hershey’s bars, plain M&M’s or Reese’s
- Jolly Ranchers and other hard candies, just be sure to take your time and enjoy them instead of biting into them
Halloween can be a fun and delicious time, even for those managing their TMJ pain. With a little planning and forethought, you can enjoy the holiday without dealing with any jaw pain.