It’s possible that if you bite down on very hard chocolate multiple times in a single sitting, that you’ll end up with a little soreness in the jaw and maybe a temporary vague clicking sound and feeling when you move the jaw.

But this does not mean that you just gave yourself temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

However, to lovers of hard chocolate, it’s always a fair question to wonder if repeatedly biting into this comfort food can trigger the development of TMJ disorder.

“Biting on hard chocolate will not create a TMJ disorder, but can trigger an existing one,” says Dr. Idan Snapir, DDS, of the Dental Smile Center in Van Nuys, CA.

“It is recommended for people with TMD to avoid hard/crunchy/chewy food,” says Dr. Snapir.

If your jaw is fine and you’ve been having normal dental exams, go ahead and indulge in the hard chocolate.

But don’t be overly aggressive about the biting simply because, even in properly functioning jaws, the stress of lots of hard biting could still produce discomfort.

To soften hard chocolate without making it melty in your hands, make sure it is first at room temperature, and then put it in a microwave for five seconds.

Never microwave when it’s fresh out of the refrigerator; leave it sitting out at room temperature first.

Depending on your microwave’s power you may have to go to seven seconds. Experiment with various lengths of time.

For many years Dr. Snapir has promoted dental health, treated TMJ disorder, created beautiful smiles and improved the overall well-being of thousands of patients. He will customize the best possible treatment plan for every patient.