Have you ever noticed that when you eat something your mouth seems to automatically put the food on one side of your mouth? If you’ve never thought of it, next time you’re chewing gum or eating dinner, you’ll find that you have a tendency to chew more on your right or left side. So why does this happen? For years studies have been conducted to determine what makes us choose one chewing side over the other. Studies found that there is no correlation between our dominant hand and a dominant chewing side. It is usually genetic disposition that determines if you will be right or left-handed., but studies found no genetic link to a dominant chewing side which means that the preference is more than likely a subconscious choice.
When you put something in your mouth, you don’t think about chewing your food, you just do it; it’s an automatic action. While studies have disproved a genetic link, some dental professionals believe that a preferred chewing side is linked to pain.
Subtle Pain May Be To Blame
Eating food doesn’t take concentration or effort because the tongue automatically places the food on one side of the mouth or the other. When chewing, studies have shown that the opposite side of your dominant chewing side usually houses the TMJ that receives more tension and stress. If you chew on your right side, your left TMJ is put under much more duress when compared to your right, and vice versa.
With this in mind, it is no surprise that a recent study published in the 2011 Journal of Oral Rehabilitation discovered that 37% of the population has a less-than-perfect temporomandibular joint. Generally the disc of the TMJ is either imbalanced or misaligned and commonly people chew food on the side with the problematic TMJ in Austin. This usually results in a weaker TMJ when comparing the two sides.
Depending on your diet, a weaker TMJ could be further aggravated, especially if hard foods and chewing foods are regularly a part of your diet. This could lead to a measureable problem with your TMJ, which usually results in TMD. TMJ Disorder is known to cause migraines, neck pain, jaw pain, and is commonly associated as a chronic pain disorder.
Do you have headaches that come and go? Do you find that your jaw makes popping noises or aches at random times? If so you may be suffering from TMD, which is caused by an imbalanced or misaligned TMJ. To get started, contact Dr. Matthew’s Austin dental office today to learn more about TMJ and the available treatments to provide TMJ pain relief once and for all.