A Chewing Accident


  • Often I’ll see patients with an acute onset of temporomandibular joint pain. Frequently these episodes are related to stress, grinding, clenching, or even….a chewing accident.
  • Sometimes just biting into something the wrong way can cause inflammation in the joint and result in pain when eating tougher foods.
    The good news is these episodes are usually easy to resolve and tend to respond to soft diet, anti-inflammatories, ice if very recent or moist heat if >24hrs.
  • The inflammation decreases to baseline levels and the pain goes away.
  • It is important to not incite more inflammation during the recovery process.
  • TMJ issues can be challenging but the acute onset of pain often is easy to resolve by avoiding exacerbating factors and attenuating the inflammation with meds.
  • As always, this post doesn’t substitute for an exam and consult.