TMJ pain on chewing can lead to serious illness! ~importance of normal CHEWING for SALIVA production
Have you been suffering from TMJ pain when you chew hard or open mouth wide?
When chewing causes TMJ pain, our natural responses may be to;
1 select soft foods to minimise pain.
2 chew less frequently when eating soft foods
3 change the bite to chew to see if it hurts less. If so, you develop an habit of chewing with altered bite. This puts more stress on the TMJs.
When we prefer to eat soft foods, we chew less frequently and shorter time. This leads to weaker muscles of mastication (chewing muscles).
As a result, one’s saliva production may reduce and it subsequently causes dry mouth.
Here’s the role of saliva.
Saliva functions to wash and cleanse inside your mouth. However, in dry mouth condition, mouth odour is harder to control.
Saliva also protects one from infections due to viruses and germs (i.e. dry mouth increases the risk of flu or pneumonia particularly in the elderly).
Saliva keeps teeth and gums healthy protecting it from infections (i.e. dry mouth can lead to gum disease and infections).
DRY MOUTH may be a reflection that saliva production has reduced. If you notice dry(er) mouth and have pain in the jaw joint on chewing or opening mouth, it is very important to seek help to treat your TMJ pain.