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When You Struggle with a TMD, Should You Chew Gum?

Posted on 9/20/2018 by Westlake Oral & Plastic Surgery
When You Struggle with a TMD, Should You Chew Gum?A temporomandibular disorder or TMD is a condition that affects the jaw and causes pain and discomfort. People who suffer from this disorder want to relieve the symptoms, not aggravate them. Sometimes even opening and closing the mouth to yawn can be painful, so the less stress you put in this area, the better it's going to feel.

While some clinical studies suggest that chewing sugar-free gum after meals can be useful for your oral health, doing so when you suffer from a TMD, can make the condition worse.

Chewing Gum and TMD

The American Dental Association (ADA) approves of chewing sugar-free gum after meals in people with good oral health. However, those who suffer from TMD, sometimes mistakenly referred to as TMJ (temporomandibular joint) can be in excruciating pain in the jaw. The repetitive action of chewing gum only goes to make the clicking and discomfort that comes with this condition worse.

One of the most common symptoms reported by people who suffer from TMD is headaches. Some studies link chewing gum to debilitating headaches, including migraines. If you suffer from bruxism, the clenching and grinding of teeth, your jaw may be sore from the pressure. The same can be true for TMDs that result in a misaligned jaw or other site conditions.

We have several treatments available for patients who suffer from TMD, so please let us know if you have pain in your jaw or constant headaches. The procedure can be as simple as using a mouthguard for sleeping, to help you relax your jaw, while other options require surgery.

However, it is vital to treat the underlying condition that is causing your jaw pain which usually results in other symptoms such as headaches, earaches, sore jaw, tight jaw, clicking or popping of the jaw, among others. We are here to help you, and our surgeons can suggest the best treatment for your condition.
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Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery
911 Hampshire Road Suite 4
Westlake Village, CA 91361

(805) 495-7416