A WOMAN needed her jaw replaced after eating a huge KFC burger.
Holly Strevens, 34, says she dislocated her jaw while stretching her mouth to eat a Wicked Zinger burger in 2014.
Since the incident she has had five operations and 18 screws on the left side of her mouth.
The mum-of-one, who lives in Portsmouth, Hampshire, said: “I feel angry that this has happened but it can happen to anyone who opens their mouth too wide.
“I was healthy before eating my KFC burger with no underlying health issues.
“I was eating a KFC at home whilst watching the TV and all of a sudden I heard a loud pop noise. It was my left jaw joint.
“It looked normal but it felt horrendous and kept ‘locking and unlocking'.
“I must have stretched my mouth too wide when biting the burger.”
Holly was diagnosed with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.
The temporomandibular joint is a hinge between the jawbone and the skull, and TMJ disorders cause pain, difficulty chewing, an aching face and locking of the joint.
It can be caused by a blow or jaw injury. But other risk factors are long term grinding of the teeth, clenching and arthritis.
In most cases, TMJ is temporary and gets better by resting the jaw and taking medications.
But Holly, with a severe case needing surgeries, says her life has been “ruined” and she is constantly in pain.
She started suffering non-epileptic seizures as a result of her pain in 2018, which meant she lost her job as a part-time office administrator.
Sometimes a person’s reaction to pain or difficult thoughts and feelings can cause “dissociative seizures”.
Holly is also unable to eat an apple, anything chewy or hard due to the pain.
She said: “Over the years, I had a lot of time off as I was in and out of the doctors and the pain was affecting my daily life.
“People can open their mouth up to 35mm but my jaw movement has reduced to 13mm.
“I developed arthritis in my left jaw too with cysts on the joint before the jaw replacement.’’
Three years after the incident, in July 2017, Holly had open-joint arthroplasty of the jaw.
Doctors made an incision in the skin to expose the jaw joint, before replacing the tissue with an artificial disc.
Sadly, her condition didn’t improve so Holly was forced to have the left side of her jaw replaced, leaving her with a scar from her ear lobe to her eyebrow level.
Holly hopes to have the right side of her jaw replaced.
But she is also keen for fast-food restaurants to reduce the size of their burgers to prevent this from happening to someone else.
She said: “I regret eating the burger. TMJ just came from nowhere.
“It has changed my life. I am now classed as disabled and I have lost my independence completely.
“My mental health has declined and I have anxiety because I might have a seizure when I am alone.
“I am hoping to get the right side of my jaw replaced to put an end to the relentless chronic pain.”
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