Trouble Eating Difficulty Chewing
If you have started to have problems chewing or difficulty eating, there are a number of causes that might be to blame. Typically, if you are experiencing trouble eating as you normally do, a development in the gums, teeth, bones or muscles are the source of the change. No matter if your difficulty chewing is traced back to a behavioral transition or a medical issue, the dentist can use other symptoms to properly diagnose the origin. If you have started to notice problems chewing or swallowing, it is important to discuss these changes with a medical professional.
Possible Causes of Pain with Chewing
After an accident or oral surgery, it is normal to feel pain in your mouth and face. Most people know that soft foods are best in these cases. When the pain is coming from your jaw muscles, you may be clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. If the jaw joint is achy or swollen, you may have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis manifesting in the joint. Temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD prevents people from chewing normally. If the pain is coming from your teeth, then you may be experiencing symptoms of tooth decay, gum disease, or even dry mouth. The dentist will be able to detect and treat hidden damage that is too small to see with your eyes or below the gum line. In very rare cases, problems chewing can be a sign of an infection or the start of oral cancer. Be sure to talk about all changes in your mouth with the dentist to address any problem before it worsens.
Related Symptoms Can Help Identify the Problem
When you can share any other changes you have noticed with the dentist or the doctor, then you will be able to have a diagnosis and treatment sooner. Any time you struggle to eat normally and there is a disagreeable or strange taste in your mouth between meals, you most likely have a dental condition developing. Temporomandibular joint disorders are accompanied by earaches, jaw tenderness, and headaches. More serious health issues cause problems chewing and swallowing and include unplanned and quick weight loss, not related to poor nutrition or dieting.
If You Experience Pain When You Chew
If you have been ignoring the discomfort when you are eating but you have started to struggle to swallow normally, it is important to seek professional medical treatment. Only a dentist or a doctor can help determine if there is a serious underlying medical problem. The doctor can rule out gastrointestinal problems after an examination and testing. Neuromuscular disorders can disrupt your ability to eat and the doctor will be able to help improve those complications. The dentist can evaluate your mouth for any signs of infection or tooth damage. You may even be referred to a speech pathologist or occupational therapist to help with your treatment plan.
Until your problems chewing have improved, be sure to eat soft foods and to avoid drinks that are too hot or cold. The dentist can make sure that you are back to normal before you know it!