Halloween is a really fun holiday for kids and adults, but for those with TMD the festivities can be cut short by pain. Tempting Halloween treats and certain costume accessories may aggravate TMJ pain to the point that it ruins the holiday festivities. The good news is as long as you know which candies and costumes to avoid, you shouldn’t experience any TMJ tricks on Halloween.
Halloween Candies to Avoid
Crunchy, sticky, chewy and hard – a lot of candies fall under those categories. One look at a trick-or-treat bag will get your sweet tooth and your jaw aching. Halloween treats that can turn into a trick include:
- Candied apples
- Popcorn balls
- Tootsie Rolls
- Jelly beans
- Candy bars
The rule of thumb is if a treat is hard to chew it might be enjoyable at first, but it will leave a bad pain in your mouth.
TMD-Friendly Halloween Candy
Don’t be discouraged by the list above! There are still plenty of treats that you can enjoy this Halloween without causing your TMD to flare up. The trick is to make sure they are soft or can melt in your mouth without chewing.
- Peanut butter cups
- Candy corn
- Jolly ranchers – let them melt in your mouth
- Brownies – without nuts
- Chocolates – let them melt in your mouth
Why not treat yourself to something sweet? Most candy isn’t made with TMD in mind, so the easiest and safest way to indulge a little is to make your own Halloween treats. A few of our favorites are Halloween Brownies and Whoopie Pies – just make sure to not to bake them too thick.
Halloween Costumes to Avoid
Dressing up is a big part of the fun on Halloween. You just have to be careful about the costume you choose. Anything that aggravates or causes strain on your neck, head or jaw can make your TMD worse.
False teeth – These can put your jaw in a position that could cause strain on the already stressed masticatory muscles or overloaded temporomandibular joint.
Masks – Masks that are tight on the face, restrict jaw movement or have straps around the chin could cause your temporomandibular joint and masticatory muscles to work harder. This in turn can create aches and pains that are felt the next day.
Heavy Headpieces – Anything that causes your neck to strain and work harder has the potential to trigger TMJ pain. Because of this, heavy headpieces should be avoided.
If you experience TJM pain after Halloween come by MedCenter TMJ for a thorough analysis. Our state-of-the-art TMJ diagnostic equipment can pinpoint the source of the problem to come up with an effective treatment plan.
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