Woman's jaw replaced after 'stretching mouth for KFC stacked burger'

Woman, 34, who claims she dislocated her jaw while eating a KFC stacked burger reveals she was forced to have it replaced with prosthetic joints

  • Holly Strevens has had five operations and 18 screws on left side of her mouth
  • The 34-year-old, of Portsmouth, dislocated her jaw ‘when eating a KFC burger’
  • The mother-of-one was diagnosed with temporomandibular joint syndrome 

A woman has claimed she had to have her jaw replaced with prosthetic joints after stretching her mouth to eat a KFC stacked burger.

Holly Strevens, 34, from Portsmouth, has had five operations and 18 screws on the left side of her mouth after her jaw dislocated when eating a chicken burger topped with a hash brown.

The mother-of-one was diagnosed with temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) which is a disorder of the jaw muscles and nerves caused by injury or inflammation to the connection between the jawbone and the skull.

Holly said she now hopes to have the right side of her jaw replaced as she suffers chronic pain daily that lead to non-epileptic seizures.


Holly Strevens (pictured left, before eating the burger), 34, from Portsmouth, has had five operations and 18 screws on the left side of her mouth after her jaw dislocated when eating a chicken burger topped with a hash brown. Pictured right, Holly in recovery following the left side jaw replacement

The mother-of-one (pictured) was diagnosed with temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) which is a disorder of the jaw muscles and nerves caused by injury or inflammation to the connection between the jawbone and the skull

She 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. TMJ just came from nowhere.

‘I was eating a KFC at home whilst watching the TV and all of a sudden I had 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 (pictured recovering from her jaw replacement operation) said she now hopes to have the right side of her jaw replaced as she suffers chronic pain daily that lead to non-epileptic seizures

Holly lying with a heat pack as she tries to relieve the pain on the right side of her mouth

What is a Temporomandibular Joint disorder? 

The Temporomandibular Joint can be painful as the result of injury, inflammatory disease, poor postures or growth disorders.

Symptoms include pain in the facial muscles, clicking, grinding or locking of the jaw, headaches and dizziness and difficulty opening or closing the mouth.

There are a number of causes and frequently it is a combination of these rather than one single cause:

  • Trauma, for example a blow to the jaw
  • Overactivity of the jaw muscles
  • Arthritis
  • Increased sensitivity to pain linked to stress

Source: NHS

Holly said she hopes fast-food restaurants reduce the size of their burgers to prevent this from happening to someone else.

She states her life has been ‘ruined’ as she is constantly in pain and has non-epileptic seizures. She is unable to eat an apple, anything ‘chewy’ or hard due to the pain.

Holly lost her job working as a part-time office administrator due to the seizures.

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, Holly had open-joint arthroplasty of the jaw- an incision was made in the skin to expose the jaw joint. The surgeon replaced her tissue with an artificial disc in July 2017.

Sadly, her condition didn’t improve so Holly was forced to have the left side of her jaw replaced. She has been left with a scar from her ear lobe to her eyebrow level.

Holly adds: ‘I regret eating the burger. 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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