Big Burgers Might Give Asians TMJ

SINGAPORE—An American-trained dentist who runs a clinic in Singapore says small-mouthed Asians can injure their jaws with large Western burgers.

In a Voice of America report, prosthodontist Ansgar Cheng said dentists in Asia are seeing more jaw disorders among its growing middle class because they are eating big-sized Western-style fast food.

Cheng said his training makes him an expert in temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ. It is a painful condition that occurs when the joint that connects the jaw to the skull becomes inflamed, making chewing painful.

He said many of the TMJ disorders he treats are caused by people eating super-sized burgers.

“On average most Asians are petite-sized people so, in general, we could say our jaw openings are somewhat smaller than Westerners,” Cheng said.

Cheng said he recommends his patients order smaller burgers because Asians trying to fit a Big Mac into their mouths could overstretch their chewing muscles, damage mouth cartilage or possibly dislocate theirs jaws.