Monday, October 31, 2016

The Bigger The Bite...

A new trend in the fast food industry is to advertise foods with the motto “the bigger the better.” We’re sure you have heard of the McDonald’s “Big Mac”or the Wendy’s “Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy ¾ pound Triple”; both of these burgers include massive patties along with a host of other condiments. Believe us, they all look incredibly delicious (just writing this blog is making our mouths water), but should we really be trying to cram food that’s the size of a Mini Cooper into our mouths?

Although these larger than life foods may appeal to your taste buds, taking bites that are too big to chew could be bad for your jaw and teeth, says the Academy of General Dentistry. The bones attached to your teeth get quite the workout when you chew and over working your teeth to chew larger bites can put extra strain on them. The key area of the mouth that can be affected by super-sized meals is the jaw. Taking big bites causes you to open your jaw wider than usual. This can strain the jaw bone and surrounding muscles. This strain can cause Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD).

Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw. TMD causes pain or tenderness of your jaw in the area in front of your ear, an occasional feeling of the jaw being stuck open or closed, facial muscle spasms that make it difficult to open your mouth, headaches that start in front of the ear and spread to the rest of the head or neck and clicking, popping or cracking sounds in the jaw when you open or close your mouth.

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, between 5% and 15% of people in the United States experience pain associated with TMD. The effect of harming your jaw may result in needing appliance therapy. Typically, TMD splints are worn to reduce jaw stress. However, depending on the severity of jaw stress, treatments for TMD range from simple self-care practices and conservative treatments to injections and surgery.

Now…can you imagine having to tell your friends you had to undergo jaw surgery because you ate too many “Double Doubles”? That doesn’t sound awesome at all. So remember, as delicious as these super-sized foods look, they are not worth the strain they can cause on your jaw.

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