good oral health this halloween

Candy to avoid this Halloween if you have TMJ

good oral health this halloweenSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

We are leaving summer activities behind as we welcome fall, and with that comes Halloween. Just because you have TMJ disorder doesn’t make you are any less addicted to sugar. Halloween is the most accepted time to indulge in candy and sweet treats, but there are certain candies you should avoid if you have TMJ. Santa Cruz doctors that treat TMJ disorder at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry would like you to know what to avoid this Halloween to protect your jaw joints. Don’t worry, there still will be plenty of sweet treats you can enjoy this Halloween.

Halloween candy that irritates TMJ

Caramel: This chewy goodness is hard to resist, especially when it covers a juicy, crunchy apple. But, because caramel is chewy, it can irritate a jaw that is already affected by TMJ. Likewise, chewy candies such as Tootsie Rolls, Laffy Taffy, and other similar types of candy should also be avoided if you suffer from pain in the jaw joints or TMJ disorder.

Gum: Even if you chew sugar-free gum, it still can irritate the jaw joints, whether or not you have TMJ. If you have TMJ already, however, chewing gum will only exacerbate your discomfort as it causes the jaw joint muscles to become stressed and strained.

Hard Candy: You might think hard candy is a safe bet since you aren’t chewing on it, but, it’s actually not a good idea for those with TMJ disorder in Los Gatos. Even when you hold a larger piece of hard candy in your mouth and suck on it, it causes the mouth to rest in an unnatural position. Also, if you bite and crunch on the candy, you are causing even more stress to an already sore jaw. The same is true for crunchy candies such as Smarties as well. Any candy that causes you to clamp down hard and chew should be avoided.

Halloween Treats to Enjoy

We have a list of treats that you can enjoy this Halloween in Scotts Valley. You didn’t think we were going to take all of the fun out of the holiday, did you?

Dark Chocolate: Quality dark chocolate not only has added health benefits because of its naturally occurring antioxidants, but it also melts in your mouth and does not cause stress or strain on the jaw.

Apple Cider: How about sipping on some warm apple cider to curb your sweet tooth? Drinking cider certainly causes no harm or irritation to the jaw. Just be sure that you rinse out your mouth afterward or brush your teeth to remove residual sugar.

Marshmallows: Enjoy this treat after roasting one over an open fire. They aren’t too chewy, and practically melt in your mouth!

Nut Butters: Peanut butter or other nut butter treats are easy to chew and even provide a bit of nutrition because of the added protein. Pair dark chocolate with almond butter for an even healthier alternative to a sweet treat.

Pumpkin: Pumpkin can be a flavorful ingredient to bread, cookies, or pie. Since pumpkin is smooth and easy to eat, it won’t stress the jaw. Pumpkin even can be added to smoothies!

Scotts Valley TMJ Specialists

If you are experiencing pain in your jaw joints or would like to receive a TMJ evaluation, please contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry by calling (831) 438-4411 to schedule a consultation.

Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry is here to serve the oral health needs of patients in the areas of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley in California.