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  • Writer's pictureMarcia Campagna

Chewing, Bone Growth, & Academic Excellence!

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Jaw work, such as chewing, is crucial for mouth, airway development, and cognitive performance.

Did you know that your chewing helps grow bone and develop the face?

When the facial bones grow appropriately, your airway structure is developed optimally so that they have the capacity to support appropriate nasal breathing and oral rest posture.

The jaw develops before the lips and tongue. If the jaw is unstable, the lips and tongue will have difficulty doing what their supposed to do. This contributes to difficulty with chewing, jaw grading, and jaw stability required for appropriate mouth opening/closing, respiration, eating/drinking, and speaking. Jaw instability contributes to speech sound production errors, such as lisps, and/or mumbling while speaking.

In this series of blogs, I want to focus on how the jaw muscles and the function of this muscles contribute to pain. In Part 2, we focused on the temporalis muscle and how your mouth posture contributes to headache pain. In Part 3, we focused on the pterygiod muscles and how the movement at the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint) contributes to TMJ pain. In Part 4, we will focus on how jaw work (chewing) is crucial for mouth, airway development and cognitive performance.

Chewing can change the shape of the jawbone and may facilitate treatment for skeletal abnormalities, such as jaw deformities, in the future. In addition, alternate side chewing is considered to be another form of crossing midline, or using both sides of the body, required to stimulate the optimal brain processing and core stability.

Chewing helps to relieve stress and regulate cognitive functions. Researchers have found a link between chewing and maintaining memory and attention. They demonstrated that chewing increases alertness and attention, speed of neural processing, learning and memory. It also decreases in reaction time and improves short-term memory processing resulting in an increase in blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal in the brain regions activated by cognitive tasks. (Tramonti, et al 2021)

Because chewing contributes to increased alertness; cognitive performance is improved.

Studies show that chewing gum while working, driving, and learning can prevent sleepiness and improve attention!

When should I schedule an Orofacial Evaluation?

  • Do I primarily chew on one side?

  • Do I get tired of chewing during a meal?

  • Do I avoid certain foods because they are difficult to chew?

  • Do I spit out food because it's tough to breakdown for a swallow?

  • Do I feel pain with chewing, or mastication?

  • Do I grind or clench during sleep or daytime activities?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, Contact our Office by emailing or call 214-997-1106 to schedule your Orofacial Myofunctional evaluation today!

Our orofacial myologists and speech pathologists collaborate with your medical, dental, and whole body professionals to improve functional mouth movements by targeting muscle imbalances.

We strive to improve your quality of life by assessing your jaw, lips, tongue movements and the functions of breathing, chewing/swallowing, and speaking.


Gatto, K.K. (2016). Understanding the orofacial complex: The Evolution of Dysfunction.Outskirts Press.
Hirano Y, Onozuka M. [Chewing and cognitive function]. Brain Nerve. 2014 Jan;66(1):25-32. Japanese. PMID: 24371128.
Inoue, M., Ono, T., Kameo, Y. et al. Forceful mastication activates osteocytes and builds a stout jawbone. Sci Rep9, 4404 (2019).
Saccomanno, S., & Paskay, L. C. (2020). New trends in myofunctional therapy: Occlusion, muscles and posture. Edi-Ermes.
Tramonti Fantozzi MP, De Cicco V, De Cicco D, d'Ascanio P, Cataldo E, Bruschini L, Faraguna U, Manzoni D. Chewing and Cognitive Improvement: The Side Matters. Front Syst Neurosci. 2021 Dec 23;15:749444. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2021.749444. PMID: 35002642; PMCID: PMC8734061.

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1 Comment

Nupal CDC
Nupal CDC
Jun 22

Excellent post, thank for posting it. We are early intervention clinic for special child based in Delhi, India. You can visit for online consultation or therapeutic session/treatment.

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