» Blog
» Is Chewing Gum Good for You or Can It Lead to TMJ Pain?
Is Chewing Gum Good for You or Can It Lead to TMJ Pain?

One of my daughter's favorite pastimes is chewing gum. She is always on the lookout for the best flavored ones. My son who has some sensory sensitivities never took to it when it was recommended by his occupational therapist many years ago. He had just recently converted after seeing his sister enjoying it so much. Sports coaches are often seen in live TV chewing gum as they make important decisions for their teams. 

I did not really like chewing gum as it made me ingest too much air. I however took to it about 6 years ago for the intention of strengthening my jaw muscles. It often made my jaw sore and unfortunately, I also developed a ringing in my right ear. A past client has developed severe TMJ pain after just a month of chewing gum. 

What does research actually say? There are positive benefits of chewing gum like it improves alertness, sustains attention, reduces stress and pain and increases heart rate and blood flow in the brain. It even improves working memory which stores short term memory needed to complete a task. With all these benefits, who would not want to chew gum?

People with a lower jaw that is more behind than the upper jaw and those who chew for long periods are more likely susceptible to TMJ pain. It has been studied that people who preferentially chew on one side is also more at risk of TMJ pain. A forward head, straightening of the neck and a retruded jaw when subjected to repetitive gum chewing can end up irritating the jaw joints because of malpositioning. 

If you chew gum and develop a headache, sore cheek muscles, neck pain, painful jaw opening or if you get super bloated by swallowing air more than you should, you most likely have a craniomandibular problem that needs immediate attention. Seville PT specializes in TMJ pain and can help you chew gum without getting hurt and gain only its benefits. 


  1. Tabrizi R, Karagah T, Aliabadi E, Hoseini SA. Does gum chewing increase the prevalence of temporomandibular disorders in individuals with gum chewing habits? J Craniofac Surg. 2014 Sep;25(5):1818-21. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000000993. PMID: 25203577.
  2. Weijenberg RA, Lobbezoo F. Chew the Pain Away: Oral Habits to Cope with Pain and Stress and to Stimulate Cognition. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:149431. doi: 10.1155/2015/149431. Epub 2015 May 18. PMID: 26090381; PMCID: PMC4450211.
  3. Isnaeni, Rheni & Nawawi, Azkya & Silvana, Intan. (2022). RELATIONSHIP OF ONE SIDE CHEWING HABITS TO TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DISORDERS OCCURRENCE. Journal of Health and Dental Sciences. 2. 279-302. 10.54052/jhds.v2n2.p279-302.