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Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a very painful experience which makes eating or chewing food a mammoth task. There are numerous ways to treat TMJ pain. One of them is following a proper diet. Let us take a look at some of the foods that help reduce TMJ pain.

  • Fluids

Fresh fruit juices, vegetable or chicken soup, broth, milk etc. should be consumed during TMJ. The jaw needs to be given sufficient rest to recover. A wholesome liquid diet will not only help in that but will also provide necessary nutrition to keep you going.

  • Soft Foods

Having soft foods for TMJ is a very good idea. No or negligible chewing is required to make sure your TMJ gets enough rest. Heavy chewing of the usual foods like meat, raw vegetables, chips, etc. will worsen TMJ. Eat soft foods like porridge, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, yogurt, milkshakes, smoothies etc.

  • Anti-Inflammatory Food

To beat TMJ pain, add a good number of anti-inflammatory foods into your diet plan. Omega3 fatty acids have antioxidant properties and foods that are rich with them include cold water fish like salmon and mackerel. Consuming these fish helps reduce the inflammation of TMJ. Berries, broccoli and pepper are also good as anti-inflammatory foods. Also, add garlic and onion in your daily cooking and salads.

  • Foods Rich in Magnesium

Magnesium is very efficient in relaxing the nervous system and this serves well for those suffering from TMJ. Magnesium rich foods like nuts, lentils, dark leafy greens, beans, dried fruits, avocados, low-fat dairy products etc. can help relax the jaw muscles.

  • Foods Rich in Calcium

Researches have indicated that calcium helps in reducing TMJ, just like magnesium. Unpolished rice,raw milk, spinach, green peas, cabbage, sesame, oranges, banana, wheat flour with husk, coconut, almond, groundnut etc. are great sources of calcium.

  • Other Nutritional Supplements

Vitamin B is known to lower down stress levels which, in turn, can lower down TMJ pain. Its deficiency can be overcome by taking Vitamin B-Complex tablets/capsules for a few days as prescribed. Another important mineral for TMJ pain is glucosamine sulfate. It is known to repair cartilages and give relief from stiffness, swelling and pain in joint-related disorders like TMJ, osteoarthritis etc. However, it should only be consumed under experienced medical guidance as there are good chances of side effects. Raw parsley, Ginko Biloba and spinach are great sources of glucosamine.

What not to Eat while Experiencinging TMJ Pain

  • Crunchy Foods

When you have TMJ, avoid eating crunchy foods like chips, popcorn etc. Avoid hard rolls and hard vegetables like crisp celery and carrots as intensity pressure is required to chew them. It is important to include fruits and vegetables in the diet as the flavonoid in them can work as a natural anti-inflammatory substance.

  • Chewy Foods

Chewy foods like caramel, chewing gum, tough pieces of meat, taffy, escargot etc. involve heavy and constant motion of the jaw which can elevate TMJ pain. Go for softer food like yogurt, bananas, fish, poultry and mashed potatoes to avoid any more damage.

  • Fatty Foods

Studies have shown that the fat content in some foods may cause increased inflammation in your body. Avoid red meat, pastries, fried foods and cream sauces to ease the pain caused by TMJ. Choose low-fat milk, chicken, pork, low-fat cheese, yogurt, fish etc. over any fatty foods.

  • Large Pieces of Food

TMJ is painful and in some cases it becomes very difficult to open the mouth more than a couple of inches. Biting on a huge chunk of food, especially while eating thick sandwiches, large portions of fruit or big pieces of any other food can overwork your jaw. The best solution is to nibble on smaller pieces.

Have you changed your diet but still experiencing pain? Do not wait for the worse and contact Joshua Hong DDS on 623.925.8822 today.