If you suffer from jaw pain, find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, notice a clicking sound while you chew, have a limited range of motion when you try to open your mouth, suffer from frequent headaches or are bothered by a ringing in your ears, you might have a disorder affecting your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
If you think you might have a disorder affecting your TMJ, the hinged joint that allows your jaw (and mouth) to open and close, try eating the following foods to limit the amount of stress put on your TMJ, allowing it time to heal.
Foods to Eat for TMJ Disorder
First, try to eat foods that are cut or broken up into smaller pieces, so you don’t have to open your jaw too wide or put too much strain on your mouth while eating. Also, try to stick to soft foods that, again, limit the amount of stress you put on your teeth, mouth and TMJ. Here are some soft foods you can try:
- Cottage cheese and other soft cheeses
- Steamed vegetables
- Smoothies or hand-pressed vegetable juices
- Soft fruits
- Scrambled eggs
- Soft grains, such as oatmeal
- Yogurt, including Greek yogurt
- Mashed potatoes
Foods to Avoid When You Have TMJ Disorder
In addition to eating large foods, also try to avoid the following foods that can put added strain on your TMJ:
- Chewy or sticky foods, such as chewy candy and caramel apples
- Crunchy or hard foods, such as raw carrots, pretzels and apples
- Tough meats, such as steak
- Crunchy cereals
- Crusty bread
In addition, it is important that you do not chew gum, as the repetitive chewing motion can aggravate TMJ disorder. Likewise, sucking on lozenges may also aggravate TMJ pain and other symptoms. It is also recommended that you avoid sugar, caffeine and alcohol, as these items can cause increased tension on the jaw muscles and added strain to the TMJ; they can also aggravate teeth grinding or clenching, which in turn can exacerbate TMJ pain.
What to Do If You Suffer From TMJ Pain
If you suffer from TMJ pain or experience any other symptoms related to TMJ disorder, contact the Headache and TMJ Center of New Jersey for help. We can offer treatment options to help alleviate your TMJ pain and other bothersome symptoms. To schedule your complimentary consultation, contact the Headache and TMJ Center of New Jersey by calling (855) TMJ-DOCS or (855) 865-3627.