Exploring Oral Health Symptoms, Issues and Solutions

What Issues Can Chewing on Only One Side of Your Mouth Cause?

If you have noticed that you tend to favour one side of your mouth more while chewing food, try to balance your chewing more. Chewing on just one side of your mouth can cause several issues that have long-term effects on your health.

Although many people favour one side of their mouth while chewing, this is not a healthy habit. By continuing to chew on mostly one side, you are setting yourself up for various oral issues.

Facial asymmetry

As you chew, the muscles on either side of your jaw flex. And just as with the other muscles of your body, such as those in your arms, if you use one side more than the other, the muscles on that side will develop more than those on the other side. This can lead to facial asymmetry, where one side of the face is noticeably larger than the other side.

TMJ problems

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders can arise when you chew on one side of your face more than the other side. The TMJ is just under your ear and helps you to chew food and open your mouth. If you chew on one side too much, you could experience pain, jaw locking, clicking and headaches. This is because you are placing too much pressure on the joint.

Plaque accumulation on the favoured side

Every person develops plaque throughout the day. Plaque forms because tooth decay-causing bacteria create colonies on the surfaces of teeth. These bacterial colonies metabolise the foods that you eat, especially the simple sugars in fast foods such as doughnuts.

If you favour one side of your mouth while chewing, more plaque will form on the teeth of the favoured side. This is bad because plaque causes enamel to demineralise. Plaque also eventually forms into tartar. Both plaque and tartar are acidic and so cause tooth enamel to demineralise. If one side of your mouth has more plaque, that side will be more prone to cavities than the other side.

Worn teeth

Wear and tear is another issue caused by favouring one side over the other. The more you chew the more wear and tear your teeth experience. However, normally, the chewing forces are divided between the two sides of your mouth. But if you favour one side, that side will wear down faster than the other side.

Chewing more on side of your mouth than the other can cause long-lasting dental issues. If you chew more on one side of your mouth, make an effort to divide chewing forces equally. And consider visiting a dentist to determine the cause.