The ability to chew in peace is a gift that we only notice once it’s gone.
There are many reasons that might be fueling your sudden discomfort and difficulty chewing. For instance, you may have trouble chewing because of changes in the bone, muscle, and tissue structures of the face and jaw.
Medical or behavioral causes are possible, and additional symptoms may assist uncover the root reason. Overall, a dentist should be seen as soon as possible if you are having problems chewing or swallowing for any reason. Keep on reading for our breakdown of the potential causes of difficulty chewing.
Difficulty Chewing or Pain While Chewing: Potential Causes
The ability to chew food properly is the first step toward a healthy gut and a well-balanced diet. Saliva production is boosted as a result, which assists in the elimination of food particles and promotes oral health.
There are several reasons why a person may have difficulty chewing. Tissue, bone, or muscle changes in the jaw or face are examples of this.
It is possible that the alterations are medical or behavioral in nature. As a result, any new symptoms, such as pain or discomfort, should be considered. Use it to find out what’s wrong and how to fix it.
Tooth Decay and Bad Oral Health
Many people have difficulties chewing because their teeth are decayed, or because they have terrible teeth.
A swollen, aching mouth from dental decay, tooth loss, or gum disease may also hinder appropriate chewing. When poor teeth cause difficulty eating, an unpleasant taste in the mouth and a terrible odor in the breath are commonly present.
The dentist will be able to provide advice on how to deal with the problem or prescribe medicines if an infection is found. Chewing will normally return to normal after the concerns related to poor teeth are corrected.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which joins your jawbone to your skull, is like a slidable hinge. Chewing problems might occur if the joint becomes inflamed. There are four basic causes of TMJ problems: Osteoarthritis, bruxism, trauma, and heredity.
Most of the time, these difficulties may be adequately treated with medication, but in certain cases, surgery may be required. Pain or discomfort in the mouth, ache in the face, and joint locking, making it difficult to open and shut the mouth are all signs of TMJ difficulties.
Even though cancer is a remote possibility, it should be taken into account if someone is having difficulty chewing. Gum disease and poor oral care might conceal more significant problems, although this is not always the case.
Chemotherapy and radiation treatment both have the potential to impair a patient’s ability to correctly chew. The most prevalent negative effects of these drugs are dry mouth and mouth ulcers.
They may also lead to tooth decay and gum disease. We urge that you consult with your dentist about mouth rinses and other preventative measures before undergoing any kind of dental treatment.
Other Associated Symptoms
A dentist or doctor may be able to pinpoint the source of a patient’s difficulty chewing if other symptoms emerge. In many cases, a bad taste in the mouth might be a sign of a dental problem.
Bruxism and TMJ issues can cause headaches, earaches, and pain in the face and jawbones. Chewing issues might indicate a more serious underlying medical condition and result in malnutrition and fast weight loss.
Chewing problems may progress to swallowing problems in the most severe situations.
What to Do Once You Have Chewing Pain
Medical attention should be sought as soon as possible by anybody having difficulties chewing, especially if swallowing is also a problem.
An assessment by a doctor is necessary to rule out any major underlying disorders that may be causing the problem. The doctor may prescribe X-rays or radioactive dye to find the root of the issue by evaluating the gastrointestinal system.
There may be oral diseases or tooth damage causing the chewing problems, thus a dental exam is also necessary.
Dental Implants as a Treatment
Depending on the root reason for the problem chewing, the treatment will be different. The following are examples of commonly used therapies. One of the most concrete and efficient treatments is getting dental implants.
There are several options for replacing a missing tooth, including dental implants, which may improve chewing function. When it comes to tooth replacement, nothing beats dental implants, which entail surgically inserting metal posts into the gums and then screwing on a new crown.
As a result, surgery is a more costly alternative with longer recovery and healing times than non-surgical methods.
The use of fillings may be helpful in circumstances when a tooth’s decay is causing difficulty chewing. It’s a tried-and-true treatment for any decaying tooth.
It is simple to insert fillings made of porcelain or metals, and they’re often well-received by patients.
Antibiotics Or a Root Canal
Pain and difficulty chewing are common symptoms of an infected tooth.
Infected pulp may need a root canal operation before an antibiotic may be prescribed. For protection and usefulness, a crown covers the affected tooth after antibiotic treatment.
Can’t Chew Well: The Causes and Treatments
When it comes to eating healthily, chewing is a vital aspect of the digestive process. Inability to effectively chew may have major long-term health repercussions.
There are some underlying factors that might be more problematic. The sooner you visit a doctor or dentist, the more likely it is that you will get the treatment that you need, and have any difficulty chewing subside.
And, if you’re interested in keeping your teeth healthy, you need to check out our health section. We have a plethora of articles and explainers that will help elevate your oral health.