Oral Health & Chewing Gum

Oral Health & Chewing Gum

If you chew gum for whatever reason, whether it to relieve stress or to make your breath smell better, you should be aware that it can have an impact, both positive and bad, on your dental health. You probably don’t give much thought to the effects that gum chewing has on your jaw when you’re in the middle of giving it a go. However, in order to protect your dental health and avoid some issues, it is important to be aware of the impacts that chewing gum might have. Keep reading if you are interested in learning more about the connection between chewing gum and the health of your jaw.

The Chewing Gum Controversy

The majority of dentists are of the opinion that chewing gum on occasion does not compromise dental health in any way. According to the American Dental Association, chewing sugar-free gum helps promote saliva production, which in turn slows the buildup of plaque and decreases the risk of developing cavities. On the other hand, some dentists are of the opinion that it can develop to temporomandibular joint dysfunction, sometimes known as TMJ for short. Find out how chewing gum can cause temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ).

What Exactly is the TMJ Syndrome?

Your jaw is connected to the rest of your head by a joint called the temporomandibular joint. When it is damaged, it can cause a condition known as TMJ syndrome, which is characterized by localized discomfort in the jaw joint. The following are some of the reasons behind this disorder:

  • Ailments to the Teeth or Jaw
  • Incorrect Alignment of the Teeth Grinding of the Teeth
  • Clenching one’s teeth Poor Posture Stress Arthritis Arthritis
  • Chewing Gum in Excessive Amounts

If you suffer from any of the following, it’s possible that you have TMJ syndrome:

  • Jaw Pain
  • Jaw Clicking and Popping Ear ache
  • Headaches Characterized by Ringing in the Ears
  • Ache in the Area of Your Temples
  • Stiff Muscles in the Jaw
  • Dislocated Joint of the Jaw

Why Does Chewing Gum Cause Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome?

It’s possible that if you chew gum on a regular basis, you consider it to be a harmless habit. Although chewing gum does not necessarily pose any health risks, it should nonetheless be done so in moderation.

The majority of people have a habit of mindlessly chewing gum, despite the fact that they could easily eat other items. You probably chew more slowly and give more thought to each mouthful while you are having supper since you are more aware of how you are chewing at that time. Chewing gum, on the other hand, may cause you to masticate with an excessive amount of force without your awareness.

Consider chewing gum to be a minor sort of jaw workout; comparable to other muscles in your body, overusing your jaw muscles can lead to weariness. Chewing gum is an excellent way to maintain healthy jaw muscles. Chewing gum for long periods of time can cause severe discomfort, headaches, and even TMJ syndrome in some people. [C]onstant gum chewing is not recommended. Stop chewing gum immediately and make an appointment with an oral surgeon if you have any reason to suspect that you may be suffering from this condition.

How Can I Treat TMJ Syndrome?

There is a possibility that surgical treatment will be required if a diagnosis of TMJ syndrome has been made. You are in luck since there are three distinct surgical procedures to choose from:

  • The most frequent and least invasive technique for treating TMJ is called an arthroscopy. Oral surgeons are trained to remove inflammatory tissue and get patients’ mouths ready for realignment procedures.
  • Arthroplasty is a procedure that requires a significant incision in order to access the jaw joint. A surgical procedure will be performed in order to repair and then replace the disc that is responsible for the movement of your jaw.
  • A total joint replacement may be required in more severe instances. Patients are mandated to remain at the healthcare facility for a full week.

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