307 Grafton St #203, Shrewsbury, MA 01545

Lifestyle Choices for a Healthy Jaw

It’s time for lunch, and you skipped breakfast. Your stomach was rumbling so loudly in the office all morning that your co-workers were giggling. You are starving. You can’t wait to make a b-line to the restaurant up the street where you can order a burger so big, you can barely open your mouth up wide enough to consume it. Normally, you order lighter, but today you’re just hungry enough to devour the whole thing. As you open up to take that first juicy bite, you feel a shooting pain in your jaw. Beware that this could happen to you if you don’t eat mindfully.

Biting Off More than you Can Chew

Many of us are wired to believe that “bigger is better.” Bargains take precedence over better judgment. Why order the six inch sub, when the 12 inch with double meat and cheese is only dollar more? Beyond the obvious caloric concerns, the answer is that taking a bite that’s bigger than the size of your mouth can simply cause damage to your jaw and the joints which hold it together. Even if your friends are cheering you on to eat the gargantuan corn dog at the fair for a good picture, over-extending your jaw in such a way can lead to real issues with your temporomandibular joints (TMJs).

Wise Choices

Do you remember the classic commercial from the 1970s where Mr. Owl is questioned as to how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? While Mr. Owl is thrilled to implement the necessary scientific research to get the answer, after three licks, he can’t resist taking a hearty bite out of the hard candy shell. You may be tempted to do the same with similar hard candies and foods, but this is another way to hurt your jaw and teeth. Chewing hard substances (including non-food objects such as pencils and fingernails) can cause chips and cracks in your teeth and inflammation in your TMJs.


At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-6356 today.