When You Can’t Eat: 3 Common Causes of Difficulty in Chewing

Common Causes of Difficulty in Chewing Never underestimate the importance of chewing. Before the stomach fully digests food and the body utilizes its nutrients, it needs to be broken down through the process of chewing. Sadly, not everybody can do that.

Here are three of the common reasons for difficulty in chewing:

1. Cancer

As a tumor grows or lesions appear in any part of the oral cavity, swallowing and chewing becomes more difficult. According to the National Cancer Institute, there were at least 48,000 people diagnosed with oral and pharynx cancer in 2016. However, it is not among the top 10 causes of cancer deaths in the United States. Moreover, when detected early, the prognosis is good. The five-year survival outlook for this disease is 64 percent.

Although this type of cancer still doesn’t have a marker test, a regular checkup with a dentist can help in its prevention.

2. TMJ Disease

Also known as the temporomandibular jaw, TMJ is a pair of joints that connect the upper and the lower jaw. One of the commonly used joints in the body, TMJ plays a critical role in the chewing process. When the jaw hurts on right side, when it produces clicking noises, or when you struggle opening your mouth without feeling any pain, there’s a good chance you have TMJ disease, which occurs when you have dislocated joints.

According to the experts at tmj.com, there are different ways to treat TMJ, including muscle relaxants, physical therapy, and the use of medical devices to reconnect the joints properly.

3. Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder that affects the nervous system. A person with this illness loses control of the tremors and movements of the muscles, including those responsible for chewing and swallowing. The problem may also result in aspiration, a condition where gastrointestinal contents enter the lungs.

The inability to chew can lead to digestive issues including malnutrition. Before it gets worse, see a doctor or dentist right away.