Updated: Sep 16
What is there not to like about having a better jawline? If yours could look like a GQ model's and you didn't need to do surgery for it, would you do it?
Recently, there has been a popular trend online about using chewing gum to build a stronger better looking jawline. Seems simple enough but does it actually work? Are there any risks or side effects to chewing gum to build up the jaw?
We will go over what it can do and can't do. We'll also give a recommendation as to how to make it more effective. Last but not least, we'll give you a reason as to why maybe you shouldn't do it at all!
Table of Contents:
Can chewing gum build a better jawline?
Oh, you may be pleasantly surprised to know but chewing gum can potentially help you develop a better jawline. It won't necessarily reshape your jaw bone but what it will do is help sculpt your jaw muscles which contribute to the appearance of your jawline. In order words, it is a soft tissue change and not a hard tissue one.
The jaw muscle that is most affected by gum chewing is the masseter muscle. This slab of muscle attaches from the corner of your jaw and up to your cheek bone. There is one muscle on each side of your face, the left and right side.
The main function of the masseter is to close your jaw when you chew. After all it is one of the four muscles of mastication. Without this muscle, you wouldn't be able to chew gum nor eat food at all! It elevates the mandible, which means it closes it. Just look at the orientation of the muscle fibers and it'll make a lot more sense.
Exercising the masseter will result in muscle hypertrophy
When you chew a lot of gum, you're basically giving the masseter muscle a lot of stimulation and exercise. Just like any other muscle in your body, when you work it out a lot it will grow via hypertrophy (increase in muscle size).
It is the increase in the size of the masseter which contributes to the better looking appearance of your jaw. Of course, just eating three meals a day won't be enough stimulation to cause the muscle to grow.
How to do it:
Buy sugar free gum and a lot of it while you're at it. The flavor does not matter so just pick whatever will make you want to chew more.
Chew the gum for as long as you can.
Keep chewing and don't stop.
If the flavor runs out, you can use a new piece.
Here is a video from Brett Maverick demonstrating how it is done. He chewed a pack of gum for 30 days and posted his results in this.
According to his experience, his jaw was very sore after the first 2-3 days. After that he kind of just got use to it. Towards the end of his journey, he found that some of the gum were too easy to chew so he had to move on to some harder to chew ones.
Additional perk from chewing gum
Aside from the potential masseter muscle hypertrophy from the excessive gum chewing, it can also help you improve your oral hygiene. Studies have shown that chewing sugar free mastic gum after your meal can reduce plaque and increase salivary flow. The results were that there was a significant reduction in bacterial colonies from all of that chewing!
In other words, it will help ward off tooth decay as well as gum disease. Less bacteria in your mouth will mean a decrease in chances of something bad happening. After all, the damage in your mouth is the result of bacteria damage.
What chewing gum will not do for your jawline
The constant gum chewing will help bulk out your masseter muscle via hypertrophy. What it will not do is change the actual bone structure of your mandible (lower jaw).
Assuming that you're a grown adult and you're well past puberty, your jaw and skull are no longer growing. Just like how you're not going to grow any taller height wise, the shape of your jaw bone is pretty much set in stone now.
According to this study, your mandible is fully mature at 16 years of age for males and 14 years of age for females. Unfortunately what that means is that if you're beyond that age range, the chances are pretty slim for you to physically change the bone shape.
In other words, you can chew all the gum you want for the next 10 years but the bone shape will barely change! The only thing that may change are the mastication muscles.
How to amplify your efforts to produce an even better jawline result
Giving the masseter muscle a lot of exercise by chewing as much gum as you can, certainly can help improve your jawline. However, what will make it more effective or rather give it a more pronounce effect is if you added in dieting along with exercising your whole body.
Adding in both of these will help you lose weight but what we want here is to lose fat from the face. Having less fat on the face will make your jawline stand out more and the hypertrophied masseter pop out as well. All of this together will make your jawline stand out from the rest of the crowd.
It really doesn't hurt to add in some exercising everyday because according to the NYT, it is recommended that adults should get in at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. That translates to about 20 minutes per day. Doing so will keep you healthier and also live longer.
The Journal of American Medical Association states that 110,000 deaths could be prevented each year if adults simply exercised 10 minutes per day! That is pretty low barrier in our opinion.
Therefore, we would highly encourage you to add in some routine exercise in addition to exercising your jaw if you were to give this experiment a try.
Why you may not want to chew gum for your jawline
Even though chewing gum may help improve your jawline, you may not want to do it if you have pre-existing TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorders) problems. What we mean by this is if you have any sort of problems with your jaw that results in pain.
Common TMJ problems and symptoms:
Bruxism - you grind your teeth at night.
Clicking or popping in your jaw when you open or yawn.
You wake up in the morning with tense jaw or jaw pain.
If you have any of the conditions above, you SHOULD NOT attempt this gum chewing marathon in hopes of improving your jawline. The excessive chewing will only make the TMJ muscles even more tired and possibly wear down the temporomandibular joint.
The risks of having a deteriorated joint is that you may need a TMJ replacement. This is a surgical procedure where you have the old joint removed and then have a new metal one to replace it. You'll end up having plates and screws on both sides of your jaw.
Here is a video to illustrate to you what a TMJ replacement would entail:
The total joint replacement involves major surgery and a lot of hardware in your jaw. Definitely no walk in the park... Thus, if you have TMJ problems you may want to reconsider trying to enhance the jawline via gum chewing since it can exacerbate it and may potentially require you to undergo major surgery to correct it.
What about those without TMJ problems, can they still chew gum?
Our recommendation was that if you have pre-existing problems with your temporomandibular joint, you should not do this. However, even if you don't have any problems with your joint, you should still be wary that it may potentially lead to future problems.
Not everyone is born with TMJ disorders where you either have it or you don't. There are plenty of people who develop it over time throughout their life. What that means is you may eventually end up with TMJ problems even though you never started out with it.
How that happens is due to the fact that the TMJ is your jaw joint and the more you use it, the greater the potential for it to start wearing. It will basically become an overuse injury. That is no different from if you were a marathon runner and you've been running them for decades. There is a high chance you may need a knee or hip replacement from all of that overuse. This is of course in comparison to a non-marathon runner.
The same thing can happen to your jaw joint where you may end up needing it replaced from overuse. Humans were built to have their TMJ chew food so that they can have their X number of meals per day. That much shouldn't be a problem because that's what it was meant to do in the first place.
However, were humans built to have their jaw continuously chewing gum all day long for 24 hours a day and 365 days a year? I don't think so.
Thus, we would have to say that you should be very wary about the potential to develop TMJ issues if you were to go on these gum chewing marathons in order to develop a better jawline.
The Verdict - does chewing gum help your jawline and should you do it?
Chewing gum can definitely help improve your jawline because it can cause the masseter muscle to hypertrophy. The increase in muscle size can enhance and add to your facial aesthetic. This is purely a soft tissue change and not a hard tissue one.
What it won't do is physically change the shape of your jaw bone because for the vast majority of us, our jaw has matured and stopped growing by the time we're 14-16 years of age. Thus, unless you're still a young teenager don't expect the overall shape of it to change much since you're past that stage. The hard tissue will not change.
Now whether or not you should partake in this endeavor to develop a more aesthetic look, we would say you certainly can chew some gum but don't go too crazy with it. The reason is because you can potentially develop TMJ problems.
Those who've experienced TMJ issues know that there isn't really any quick or easy cure for it. Most people end up living with clicking and popping in their jaw for the rest of their life. They tend to wait until it becomes unbearable or gets significantly worse before they consider having their joint replaced via surgery.
Therefore, it's not harmful to chew gum in moderation because it does improve your oral hygiene. It will fight tooth decay and ward off gum disease. Just don't chew multiple packs a day and go on chewing marathons. You'll definitely wear through the joint and create unintended consequences.