Category Archives: Dental Tips

Why Chewing with Your Mouth Open is Sometimes Good

Rude, rude, rude. That’s all we think when we hear someone smacking their lips, slurping their soup, or just munching away on a piece of fruit with their mouth wide open. We hate to see the food in their mouth, we hate to see it fall out of their mouth, and we absolutely loathe the sound any of it makes.

Some studies have suggested that this physical annoyance (or even rage) we feel when hearing someone chew with their mouth open is called misophonia, and some people experience it worse than others. But whether it’s a mild annoyance to some or induces a hatred unlike anything else to others, there is something to be said for those who do chew with their mouths open (much to my chagrin).

Check out a few reasons why people may actually do this abominable thing.

It produces more flavor.

Some people claim that there’s a reason they chew with their mouths open, and it’s that food “tastes better.” I did some browsing around to see what credence this statement held, and I was surprised to come across a few claims.

A lot of people that vouch for open mouth chewing say that the “better taste” has something to do with getting more air into the month, which in turn helps the aromas go up your nose more. And since a massive portion of taste happens through smell, well, your food ends up tasting better. Whether it’s actual airflow of the aromas or air in general bringing out the flavors, there seems to be a little bit of evidence that these people aren’t crazy.

In addition to this point, it can be noted that people who chew with their mouth open may actually eat less food in total since they’re able to enjoy the food fully. In contrast, closed-mouth chewers may eat more because they’re searching for full flavor that they otherwise don’t get because of chewing with their mouths closed.

Other cultures.
In some cultures like Japan, slurping is considered good manners. For example, a lot of ramen shops are quite small. When you slurp your food (which actually helps cool down the noodles and broth), it is considered polite, as you’re showing your cooks that you really enjoy the food.

This is quite contrary to American culture in which any sort of excessive noise associated with eating food is quite rude to your neighbors in a restaurant.

No matter the case, we can still agree that open mouth smacking is still rude and considered impolite in our culture. These just serve to explain a few reasons why people may do it besides having no regard for their nearby diners.



The Best Over-the-Counter Medicine for Toothaches

Toothaches and mouth pain in general are some of the worst pains known to human, and if you don’t agree, you’re likely not human.

What makes it so unbearable, you ask? Well, your mouth is quite sensitive, first off. And whether or not it’s true, having even the slightest bit of pain in your teeth, gums, or tongue feels doubly painful since everything is located so close to your brain.

But the biggest nuisance is impeding your ability to eat food. Eating is an absolute pastime of humanity, no matter what you try to tell me. Yes, it’s essential that you eat. But it’s a hobby. It’s a comfort activity. It’s a culture. Eating is core to our existence, and being in pain makes you not want to eat. That’s no bueno.

Now, obviously you want to see the dentist when you begin experiencing tooth pain to get to the root of the problem. This is a no brainer and everyone likely has a dentist they see from time to time. But what about when your dentist is out of office, it’s a holiday, or the pain is flaring up at night? Where do you turn to alleviate the throb of a toothache?

Over-the-counter dental anesthetics. These things are topical numbing gels that help to take away the pain of a toothache or even a cut or tear in your gums or cheeks. The number one reason this is so useful is so that you can chow down on food and not experience excruciating pain if the motion of chewing is too much or if or stray food comes into contact with the affected area.

These pain relief gels contain benzocaine, a topical pain reliever that adults can use and administer to children 2 years of age and older. It’s important to remember that home treatment of toothaches is temporary, and that most toothaches require dental or medical care. You don’t want to avoid seeing your dentist just because the numbing gel has taken care of your woes for the time being.

Dental anesthetics are magical when you’re so hungry that you’re almost in tears because you know it’s going to hurt to eat. Though the numbing doesn’t last that long and you’ll likely be reapplying the gel a few times in a day, it’s a godsend of a medicine when you can’t make it into the dentist’s straight away. However, with that being said you should definitely get in to your dental office as soon as possible to treat the affected area for the long run.

The Most common TMJ treatments

TMJ which is called temporomandibular joint disorder, and it’s super painful to deal with.  Usually, it can lead to pain within the jawbone and jaw muscles.  This is essentially the hinge that connects the jaw to the skull, and sometimes it can cause jaw movements to become a problem, and it can compromise the activity of this.  Usually, you feel tenderness and pain in the jaw, pain from the joints or even from the TMJ area. It also can cause pain in the ear, facial muscle aches, or even issues with opening and closing the mouths.  Fortunately, there are many different ways to alleviate these symptoms.  You usually have three choices: medication, surgery, or therapy.

With medications, usually, it’s combined with the other two.  Usually, they involve anti-inflammatory pain relievers, and while usually, the medication isn’t enough to handle TMJ pain, the dentist will give you something stronger and it does create a temporary relief.  Plus, it is anti-inflammatory so there is that.  You may also get some anti-depressants because they can be good for pain relief and from any combatting depression that may come up.  you’ll want to speak to your doctor about this though. The final medication is muscle relaxants, which usually take weeks to kick in, but they’re usually the most effective means to treat the pain from TMJ.

When it comes to therapy, you can typically get some small options that don’t require drugs. For example, a mouth guard is used with TMJ, so that the pain is reduced when you see a soft, firm device such as a mouth guard that’s placed over the teeth. You also can get physical therapy to address this, and usually, these exercises will strengthen your jaw muscles once more.

Finally, you get counseling because usually, the discomfort that’s associated with TMJ is because the condition is aggravated. For example, teeth grinding or leaning on the chin might be happening due to stress, and you can avoid this to prevent it from worsening.

Then there are surgical treatments you can get.  The first is arthrocentesis, which I a process of inserting needles into the joints of the jaw to get rid of debris and other products that cause inflammation.  You can also get injections, such as botox, that can help with jawbone pain.  TMJ arthroscopy is another open-joint surgery used to treat this, where a thin tube is put on the joints and uses miniature tools for surgery.  It is less intrusive but it’s got limitations.

Then there is open-joint surgery, where if all else fails, the dentist will deal with some of the issues itself, but there are risks to it.

So why does it matter? Well TMJ is very painful, and getting it treated makes a world of a difference.  But, you need to make sure you get the right options for treatment since it can ultimately be a huge factor in the success of it.  Common TMJ treatments are important, and you should see your dentist about them whenever possible.