Why are you Chewing on Pencils?

Categories: TMJ/TMD

why are you chewing on your pencilScotts Valley and Santa Cruz, CA

You may think that gnawing on pencils is just a nervous habit or something you do out of boredom, but there may be more to it than just an unexplained habit. A recent study by the National Institute of Health indicates that people who chew on pens or pencils do so as means of relief from tension headaches or jaw pain associated with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

Biting on the pencil puts the jaw into a more comfortable position, thus, relieving pain. However, pencil biting is not recommended. It can make your teeth worse by causing damage such as broken or fractured teeth. In fact, the American Dental Association claims that people who have a consistent habit of chewing on pens or pencils will suffer the same oral health consequences as someone who clenches and grinds their teeth. Instead of chewing on pencils, patients experiencing tension headaches or TMD should undergo a consultation with the dentist and seek the proper treatment.

Treatment for TMD begins by finding the optimal position for the jaw. Once this has been achieved, a custom-made oral orthotic can be designed to help hold the jaw in place, relieving the tension and jaw pain. Instead of just masking your pain with medication, why not treat it at the source? The dentist can easily adjust this oral orthotic, and it is comfortable and convenient.

TMJ is often related to a misaligned bite. It may be necessary for some patients to undergo restorative dental care to help create an optimal bite. Missing teeth or broken teeth can add a significant amount of stress to the jaw joints, which is why replacing missing teeth is important when treating TMD.

During your consultation, the dentist will develop a treatment plan that addresses all of your oral health concerns, and get you out of pain.

If you experience pain in your jaw joint or tension headaches, you may have TMD. Please call Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry today at (831) 438-4411. We welcome patients of all ages and those with families.

Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry serves patients located in the California communities of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley.