Sometimes, nature can be a little complex, and not as cut-and-dry as many people may wish. This principle can be observed throughout nature, and one example has important implications when dealing with oral health.

Tannins, for instance, are plant compounds that contain numerous properties, some of which can ease jaw pain, and some of which can cause it. Today, we discuss the diverse properties of tannins that can potentially place them on either the good or bad side of your oral health.

To Harm…

Tannins are plant compounds commonly found in grapes, tea leaves, and many fruit juices. They are responsible for the puckered and dry feeling in your mouth that results from drinking wine, black tea, or juice from unripe fruit. The astringency and bitterness can also cause a rapid stimulation of your salivary glands. The largest of these glands, the parotid glands, are located just above the joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull.

The temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, are the large joints located just in front of your ear. When parotid glands suddenly and rapidly produce saliva, TMJs may experience intense discomfort, as well as jaw-muscle contractions or spasms. The disturbance is usually temporary, but can exacerbate conditions of jaw discomfort (TMJ disorder).

Or to Help

On the other hand, tannins can also prove medicinally beneficial. Their high concentrations of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can help prevent infection and swelling, such as is common in gum disease and other dental trauma cases. Tannins also help constrict blood vessels, which can lead to faster healing. If you experience dental trauma, tannins may be able to facilitate faster healing and less damage.

Jaw Pain

Luckily, the pain that can result from tannin consumption is usually short-lived. Consistent jaw pain that is not temporary, however, may indicate that you suffer from TMD (TMJ Disorder). A common sign of TMD is excessive wear on your teeth, as well as chronic headaches and many other oral health issues, and you should schedule a dental examination as soon as possible if such symptoms persist.


Dental Associates of Corona is a team of dental professionals dedicated to providing you and your entire family with compassionate care and a full spectrum of dental services. To learn more about our preventive, cosmetic, restorative, or emergency dentistry care, contact our Corona office today at  to schedule a visit. We also look forward to offering care to patients from Temecula, Woodcrest, Moreno Valley, and surrounding communities.