10 Foods to Have & Avoid with TMJ Dysfunction

10 Foods to Have & Avoid with TMJ Dysfunction

Nov 01, 2022

Are you experiencing jaw pain, or are you unable to open your mouth wide? These are common signs of temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Normally, the temporomandibular joint allows you to perform various oral functions such as chewing, speaking, and laughing.

Due to certain reasons, these joints can develop problems, leading to significant discomfort when performing normal oral functions like opening the mouth. That said, you should seek treatment to manage your symptoms. To manage your TMJ symptoms, you must be careful about specific actions that can aggravate your symptoms. Contact our dentist in Stony Brook, NY, for TMJ treatment near you.

Let’s look at the ten foods you can have and ten foods to avoid to prevent or manage TMJ dysfunction.

Symptoms of TMJ

  • Headaches
  • Jaw and jaw muscles pains
  • Clicking or popping jaw
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Limited mouth opening
  • Pain when yawning
  • Earaches or tinnitus
  • Worn-down teeth
  • Change in bite
  • Neck pain

10 Best Foods for TMJ

A good TMJ diet does not require significant chewing efforts and thus doesn’t aggravate the TMJ joints. Food options can include:

  • Ice cream is soft and doesn’t require chewing, thus unlikely to aggravate TMJ dysfunction.
  • Mashed potatoes are soft, require minimal chewing, and are therefore suitable for TMJ.
  • Soups are delicious and require minimal chewing, making them ideal for TMJ patients.
  • Pudding is easy to chew and provides a wide array of nutrients.
  • Scrambled eggs are easy to make, healthy, delicious, and require minimal chewing effort.
  • Cutting or slicing your foods into small chunks makes them easy to chew and swallow.
  • Yogurt is healthy and nutritious and requires no chewing, making it a great food option for TMJ.
  • Fish, like salmon, contains numerous nutrients and is soft to chew.
  • Cooked soft vegetables like broccoli and spinach are nutritious and easy to chew.
  • A diet rich in anti-inflammatory items like vegetables, fish, healthy fats, and fruits can help manage TMJ pain and inflammation.

10 Foods to Avoid with TMJ

Be sure to limit or avoid the following foods to minimize your TMJ symptoms:

  • Chewing gum requires continuous jaw movements and effort. It can cause significant pressure on the jaw muscles, resulting in fatigue, jaw pain, earaches, and headaches.
  • While very healthy, you may want to limit or avoid fruits and vegetables that are hard to chew until your TMJ is gone. Eating such will only worsen your pain and other symptoms.
  • While delicious, bagels tend to be bulky and thus require wide jaw opening, which can cause excessive strain in the irritated joints and muscles, worsening your symptoms.
  • Chewing hard or crunchy bread can exhaust the jaw muscles, resulting in TMJ problems.
  • Chewing ice requires great biting forces, which can strain your jaw, cause inflammation, and even cause teeth damage, such as chips and cracks.
  • While healthy, eating crunchy chips, cereals, and nuts requires a lot of chewing, which can cause increased pressure on the jaws, causing TMJ problems.
  • Eating meat requires continuous chewing effort, which can cause increased jaw pain and inflammation.
  • Pizza. Pizza crust can be hard and crunchy, which can cause significant pressure on the jaw muscles, causing pain and inflammation.
  • Eating popcorn requires continuous jaw motions, which can worsen or cause TMJ pain.
  • While healthy, eating chewy salads requires continuous chewing effort, which can cause further jaw pain and inflammation.

When to Seek Treatment

A well-balanced, soft diet is a great way to manage TMJ dysfunction. While mild TMJ discomfort may go away on its own after a while, it’s still important to speak with your dentist.

Sometimes TMJ disorders could signify a bigger issue, with potentially severe and long-term complications. Seeking treatment will help the dentist to examine your problem and provide the necessary treatment.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Do you need more information or treatment for TMJ in Stony Brook, NY? Contact Stony Brook Dental Group for more information or to book an appointment.

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