Before and after illustration showing a man bulking up his jawline by chewing tough mastic gum.

Can Chewing Gum Help Your Jawline?

I don’t have a jawline. My jaw just blends straight into my neck. I’ll show you in a second. But I wasn’t particularly bothered by it. George Lucas created wonderful things without a chin, so I didn’t see why I needed a jaw. Still, whenever I saw an ad about chewing on rubber Jawzrcise balls, I was tempted.

The problem with those Jawsrcise balls is they don’t replicate regular chewing patterns, so they don’t do a very good job of bulking up your bigger jaw muscles. They might also create imbalances in your chewing muscles, changing how you bite. I confirmed this with an orthodontist. More on that in a moment.

Chewing gum is much more promising. You chew it just like you chew regular food, and it does a great job of working your muscles of mastication (including your masseters). Chewing gum could help your jawline, but it depends on what type of gum you chew and how you chew it.

Before and after illustration of a skinny guy bulking up his jawline.

Regular Chewing Gum Doesn’t Work

I asked the 26,000 people subscribed to our newsletter if they’d had success bulking up their jaws with chewing gum. A couple of them mentioned small increases in jaw muscle size. Notably, one guy had a molar removed on one side of his mouth, meaning he could only chew on the other side. That side of his face grew more muscular than the other. However, he noted that the change was small and barely noticeable.

I’ve been chewing gum for decades. I started because my dentist recommended it for preventing cavities. I kept chewing it because it kept my breath fresh and indulged my tendency to fidget. Unfortunately, none of that casual chewing did anything for my jawline.

As I mentioned above, I don’t have a jawline. My jaw blends right into my neck:

A few years ago, I decided to step it up a few levels. I tried chewing several pieces of gum at once, for months at a time, for years in a row, hoping it would make a difference. My jaw got a little tired at first, but I quickly adapted to it, and I still don’t have a jawline.

I should note that during that time, I started bulking up the rest of my body, gaining seventy pounds. My diet and lifestyle supported plenty of muscle growth, but the gum wasn’t providing enough stimulus for my jaw muscles.

Before and after photo showing Shane Duquette bulking up and gaining 70 pounds of muscle.

But I was chewing regular gum. Mastic gum is what people use to bulk up their jaw muscles. But I never got around to trying it.

Then, I got an email from Greco Gum, arguably the best brand of mastic gum. One of the founders read our article about health and aesthetics, and he thought we might be interested in bulking up our jaws. That gave me the push I needed to look deeper into it.

Mastic Chewing Gum Works Better

Mastic gum is a natural resin from a tree in Chios, Greece. It’s rich in antioxidants, and people have been using it for almost three thousand years to improve their oral health, digestion, and inflammation.

Resin from the mastic tree, used to make mastic gum.

There’s some research to support those claims. For example, a study by Dabos and colleagues found that mastic gum helped clear helicobacter pylori infections (study), a review found that it improved inflammatory bowel disease (study), and there’s very limited evidence that it can improve heart health and insulin sensitivity (study). Pure mastic gum also seems to be as good as regular sugar-free gum at preventing cavities (study).

This is outside my area of expertise. I’m not backing these claims. I’m still skeptical of them. And even if true, the dosages might be higher than you’d get from chewing mastic gum. But it’s a natural, traditional, “healthy” gum that contains only one ingredient: resin.

Mastic gum is also MUCH tougher than regular chewing gum, meaning it works your jaw muscles quite hard—potentially hard enough to bulk them up.

Chewing Hard Gum Can Probably Bulk Up Your Jaw

There are some claims that chewing harder foods as a child could change the bone structure of your jaw. Whether that’s true or not, I’m past that point. My jaw is already fully formed. I’ve already had my wisdom teeth plucked out. Pérez the Rat has them now.

I spoke with an orthodontist about this. He said if you’re a child, mastic gum (or repeatedly chewing any hard food) has more of a chance of changing the bone structure of your jaw. If you’re a teenager, it might be too late to see much difference. If you’re an adult, it isn’t realistic to expect a change in bone structure.

But there are big muscles that wrap around your jaw and run up the side of your face. In theory, you could bulk up those muscles just like any other muscle. It’s not so different from neck training, where it’s an unusual group of muscles to train, but you can bulk them up quite effectively (as many fighters and athletes do).

Just to make sure I wasn’t crazy, I bounced the idea off Greg Nuckols, who professionally reviews muscle-building research (at Stronger by Science). I asked if chewing hard gum could bulk up our jaw muscles enough to create a visual difference. He said it was plausible. I agree.

Testing Different Jawline Gums

I wrote back to Greco Gum, saying we’d be happy to test their mastic gum. They sent us some free samples, no strings attached:

Photo of me holding a box of Greco Gum, a premium brand of mastic gum.

It’s much stranger than I expected. It comes in droplets of pure resin, and when you chew them, they shatter, then coalesce into what feels almost like regular chewing gum, just much tougher. (You can also mastic “nuggets” instead of droplets. I tried those, too. They’re much softer, though. You want the droplets.)

Picture of me holding a box of Greco mastic gum droplets.

It’s a little weird at first, but after a few minutes of warming the gum up, the texture is fantastic. It’s almost waxy, but in a good way. My jaw muscles get tired from chewing it and sore the next day, exactly as if I’d given them a good workout.

It tastes like fresh pine, which I love. And maybe because it’s just the one ingredient, the flavour never seems to fade, even after chewing the same piece of gum for many hours.

I’m disappointed in myself for not trying this sooner.

Photo of me holding the most popular brands of jawline chewing gum.

I don’t like the idea of reviewing something without having any skin in the game, so I used the money I saved to test the alternatives. I’ll probably write a full review of them soon, but at a glance:

  • Falim gum is a “hard” Turkish gum. I put hard in quotation marks because it’s harder than Trident but not anywhere near hard enough to challenge your jaw muscles. The flavour is so mild that it’s almost nonexistent, but it has a great texture and lasts a long time. I’ll probably buy more, but not for bulking up my jaw.
  • Jawliner is an artificial gum made for jaw bulking. It’s cheap and tough, but the flavour disappears within seconds, and the texture is poor. I suspect it’s hard enough to bulk up your jaw—about as hard as mastic gum—but the quality is poor.
  • Greco Gum is pure mastic gum (pure resin). It’s tough and tastes great, the flavour lasts many hours, the texture is awesome, and it boasts quite a few potential health benefits (though I’m somewhat skeptical of those). I love it.

Greco Gum is a premium brand of mastic gum, but the prices are pretty reasonable, especially since the gum is reusable. You can chew the same piece of gum for hours per day for several days in a row. When you’re done chewing it for the day, drop it in a shot glass of water so that it keeps its moisture.

It doesn’t have any artificial flavouring, and the flavour never seems to fade. It eventually loses some of its texture, though, at which point you can eat it, ostensibly getting more of the health benefits. I’ve been working my way through the same pack for almost a month now, putting the cost at less than a dollar per day.

We’ve Started Bulking Up Our Jaws

I don’t know if chewing mastic gum will make my jaw any bigger. I’ll report back in a few months. But I love gum, and this is the coolest type I’ve tried. It’s tough, and my jaw muscles begin tiring within minutes. That isn’t what everyone would want, but that’s exactly what I was hoping for.

Sunny’s been testing it, too. He says, “My jaw gets tired, that’s for sure. The experience isn’t bad, and my jaw is definitely sore the following day. It was just like, how do I tell someone this is good? If you like chewing things, yeah.”

The plan was for my wife to test it with us. I was excited to see what it did for her because she already has a prominent jawline. Unfortunately, it worked her jaw muscles so hard that she worried it would bulk up her jaw muscles too much, making her jaw more masculine.

I Spoke With an Orthodontist

When I sent out the newsletter to our 26,000 subscribers, I asked if there were any orthodontists who could give me their expert opinion. Thankfully, one did. Here’s a quick summary of my key takeaways after talking with him:

  • Jaw bone structure is largely complete by late teens for girls and early twenties for boys
  • Mewing is a trendy method for improving jawlines. It probably doesn’t work, and it’s even less likely to work once someone is a teenager. It’s almost impossible that it would improve the jawline of an adult. Not recommended.
  • Jawszrcise is another method for bulking up the jaw muscles. It challenges some jaw muscles, but it isn’t ideal for working the big muscles at the back of your jaw, such as your masseters. It might also cause temporary imbalances in your biting and chewing muscles. Not recommended.
  • Chewing hard food should help you develop healthy jaw muscles that are strong enough to function properly. Chewing hard food at a young age might broaden the bone structure of your jaw.
  • Chewing hard gum to intentionally bulk up your jaw is a new thing. It’s plausible that it would bulk up your jaw muscles. It’s a natural movement that’s similar to chewing hard food. It’s unclear how much your jaw muscles would grow. It’s unclear if that growth would noticeably improve your jawline.
  • Be careful with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). It’s a complex joint, so whatever you’re chewing, you need to be careful not to overdo it. He had some clients who ran into issues even just from chewing regular gum. He recommends paying attention to joint soreness. If your TMJ starts to bother you, don’t chew through the pain.
  • He doesn’t train his jaw muscles. He gained 22 pounds doing the Bony to Beastly Program. He’s happy with those gains. He doesn’t feel any need to bulk up his jawline. The risks aren’t worth the reward for him.

Training Guidelines

When you train for muscle growth, you need to challenge the strength of your muscles, not just their endurance. Thus, instead of chewing gum for several hours per day, I suspect you’d get better results from doing shorter stints of more intense chewing.

Mastic gum is a very hard. When you first start chewing it, it will probably tire out your jaw quite quickly. But your jaw muscles will adapt, growing bigger and stronger. You’ll need to gradually increase the resistance. This is called progressive overload.

The Greco Gum I’ve been using comes in these little droplets of resin, allowing you to chew as much or as little gum as you want. I started off with a modest amount, and I’ve been gradually working my way bigger.

You can also chew more forcefully. The faster you bite down into the gum, the harder your muscles need to work. That means you can start by chewing slowly, and then gradually chew more forcefully.

Here’s what I do:

  • I chew mastic gum every 1–2 days.
  • I’ll chew quite forcefully for the first 10–20 minutes, intentionally challenging the strength of my muscles. When one side of my jaw gets too tired, I’ll switch over to the other side, alternating back and forth for several “sets.”
  • I chew more naturally after that, enjoying the gum for as long as I want.

You don’t need to rush into it. Start slow and gradually work your way up. And, as the orthodontist pointed out, make sure it feels good on your temporomandibular joint. Joints adapt. They can grow stronger and tougher, just like your muscles. But you need to ease into it.

Diet Guidelines

If you’re overweight or if your jaw muscles are severely out of shape, you can probably bulk up your jaw without worrying too much about nutrition. However, if you’re thin, lean, or fit, or if your jaw muscles are already in reasonable shape (from eating a balanced diet), then you’ll need to eat a bulking diet.

A bulking diet is when you:

Your jaw muscles are relatively small compared to the other muscles in your body. Maybe you can bulk them up without needing to focus very much on your diet. I’m not taking that chance, though. I’ve been eating in a small calorie surplus. (I’ve also been training the rest of my muscles.)

Summary

Chewing hard gum is the most promising way to improve your jawline. Of the harder chewing gums, I think pure mastic gum is best. I love the taste and texture of it, it feels like it could work, and it’s certainly challenging enough.

It’s hard to know what the risk-to-reward ratio is. I’m a little over a month into bulking up my jaw, and my jaw feels fantastic. No joint pain, just muscle soreness. If I feel joint pain, I’ll probably stop until it’s gone, then ease back in more gradually.

I’ll also note that I have sensitive teeth. I always have. So does my mum. I worried this would bother them, but if anything, it seems to be helping. (All gum seems to help.)

If you want to try Greco Gum, you can get free shipping with the coupon code “b2b”. That’s an affiliate code. You’ll save a few dollars, and we’ll make a few dollars. I can’t promise it will improve your health or jawline, but it might. And even if it doesn’t, I think you’ll enjoy trying the gum. I’m impressed by it.

So far, a little over fifty people from our newsletter have bought mastic gum. I’ll follow up with them to see if they succeed in bulking up their jaws or run into TMJ issues. I’ll keep you updated.

If you’re an expert in this field, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you try mastic gum (from any brand), I’m very curious to hear your opinion.

I’m also curious to hear from people who have tried to bulk up their jaws.

Shane Duquette is the founder of Outlift, Bony to Beastly, and Bony to Bombshell, each with millions of readers. He's a Certified Conditioning Coach (CCC), has gained seventy pounds, and has over a decade of experience helping more than ten thousand naturally thin people build muscle. He also has a degree in fine arts, but those are inversely correlated with muscle growth.

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2 Comments

  1. Chris on June 8, 2024 at 12:57 pm

    Haha, this reminded me of the old Calvin And Hobbes strips about the gum chewing magazine Calvin reads.

    • Shane Duquette on June 8, 2024 at 2:16 pm

      I hadn’t heard of those! I just read through the ones I could find. And… yes, definitely. This is exactly that.

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