– What is that shock we feel in our jaws while eating sweets?


So, what is that and why it happens? I used to have it a lot when I was a kid. It triggers right away if I eat a candy and start laughing at the same time.

The problem is that now it started to happen while I drink wine (the same ones I’m used to drink since ages). It’s really bothering me because it happens every sip and it’s this annoying acute pain. Any thoughts on that and how to make it stop?

In: 9

There’s a big saliva gland near your jaw called the “parotid gland” and it can respond in a super strong and unpleasant way when you taste certain things, especially alcohol, sugar, or acid. The sucrose and tartaric acid in sweets are both major triggers, as are the tannins and ethanol in wine.

When that salivation happens it can be a sharp pain; for me it’s a bit like a small muscle cramp.

Make sure you stay hydrated and try to have some food before eating or drinking things that cause the pain. Dehydration gives you a dry mouth and the parotid gland also has to work harder to produce the saliva you need, and if you’re hungry and thirsty your body will also produce more saliva leading to more sharp pain.

As always with medical stuff, you should see your GP if you’re concerned.

It could be a tooth thing. There’s little tubes in the enamel of your teeth and if you eat a lot of acidic things the minerals that sit in those tubes can get pulled out. (Ditto if you do tooth whitening procedures). If this happens, the affected tooth can become really sensitive to sweets or sugary foods. You can potentially reduce or get rid of the sensitivity by using a remineralizing toothpaste or gel (sensodyne is probably the best known brand but there are others).

If it persists, it’d be a good idea to get a dentist to look and make sure you don’t have anything more serious going on.