Recently, while walking through a residential neighborhood in NYC I wandered into a food market to pick up some essentials for the week. As I approached the checkout counter I happened to notice a display for something called JawliPop.
I stopped dead in my tracks.
JawliPops are the biggest jawbreaker candies that I have ever seen–the size of a small softball but as hard as a chunk of concrete! I couldn’t imagine who would find this hunk of sugar appealing, but according to the gal behind the register they are big sellers.
Intrigued as to how someone would negotiate this rock solid mass, I bought one (figuring if it was inedible it could be used to have a catch with my youngest daughter!).
Once unwrapped, it was clear that no human could either put the entire thing in their mouth or bite through the hard outer shell. The only option would be to lick the surface like a lollipop until one day, likely months later, it would be reduced to a manageable size jawbreaker. Made of pure, unadulterated sugar, this new candy was destined to be a dentist’s dream (amongst other favorites like Sugar Daddy’s and Tootsie Rolls).
Beyond the destruction to the teeth, the JawliPop is likely to be a major menace to the health and comfort of the jaw muscles and temporomandibular joints. Considering that the overuse of gum often leads to painful and fatigued jaw muscles, you can be sure the effort required to conquer this sugary orb is not worth it.
If you never thought overusing your tongue muscle would create jaw pain, try sticking your tongue out for a few minutes while moving it to the right and left in a circular motion. Imagine doing that daily for as long as it takes to get through the JawliPop. Still up for this giant sugary challenge?
Many jaw related problems are caused by overuse activities. Whether the overuse is chewing gum, biting pens, pencils, nails, or cuticles, singing, clenching or grinding of the teeth or playing musical instruments, these repetitive motions can injure the muscles, ligaments and tendons of your jaw. Once injured, the potential for pain and/or functional problems arises and can become persistent—something I doubt the makers of JawliPop had in mind.
For those of you who may have purchased the JawliPop, I suggest an alternate use for this grandest of all jawbreakers! Anyone up for a game of catch??
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Dr. Donald Tanenbaum has been practicing in New York City and Long Island for over 20 years. He is uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat Sleep Apnea, facial pain, TMJ and TMD problems, muscle pain disorders, nerve pain disorders, tension headaches, and snoring. Learn more here