If you are struggling with a TMJ disorder, you might find it painful to bite and chew.
If you have a problem related to your temporomandibular joint, you will know that it can be difficult and painful to eat. Although it is best to seek treatment as soon as possible, you might be wondering what you can eat in the meantime. As a general guideline, it is best to stick to foods that don’t require too much chewing and that contain the nutrients you need to maintain your overall health. Here’s what you can eat if you have TMJ pain that is affecting the function of your jaw and/or teeth…
1. Soft fruits and vegetables
Fortunately, many fruits are soft enough to eat even if you are suffering from jaw pain. Options like bananas, soft pears, and melons are often a good choice because they don’t require much chewing. You might also consider stewing fruits like apples so that you can enjoy them in a softer form.
When it comes to vegetables, try to avoid anything particularly hard. It’s best to enjoy vegetables when they are soft-cooked rather than raw. Try steamed carrots, mashed potatoes, and squash for some nutritious and easy-to-eat options. Mashed avocadoes are another good choice. They’re packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and fibre that won’t require much effort when chewing and biting.
2. Protein-rich foods
It goes without saying that particularly tough and chewy meats are best avoided if you are struggling from jaw pain as the result of a TMJ-related disorder. These foods require a lot of chewing and biting pressure and are likely to exacerbate any discomfort you feel. To get your protein fix, it is best to choose sources like tofu, eggs, and soft fish. Soft-cooked legumes like beans are also a good option, as is soft chicken.
Dairy products are also packed with protein, plus they are a great source of calcium. Most dairy products are easy to eat — try cottage and cream cheeses and yoghurt, for example.
3. Healthy grains
Fortunately, when it comes to grains, there are plenty of suitable options available. While it is best to avoid pieces of bread that are particularly hard or chewy or bread and rolls that contain hard seeds and nuts, you can safely and comfortably eat nutritious grains like pasta, couscous, oatmeal, and polenta. Try to choose whole grains as much as possible as they tend to be high in dietary fibre, as well as vitamins and minerals.
How can we help?
TMJ-related disorders can have a detrimental effect on your teeth and jaw and are often caused by teeth grinding or clenching of the jaw. These habits can cause serious complications if not addressed. These include broken fillings and crowns, fractured teeth, localised gum recession, the strain on the TMJ joints, and worn-down teeth.
If you are struggling with TMJ pain, we encourage you to come in and see us so that we can help to alleviate your discomfort. At Crown Dental Group, we prioritise our patients’ pain relief and will devise an immediate plan to treat the underlying cause of the issue. If TMJ problems are identified and treated early, it is often possible to prevent pain, further damage to the teeth, and even tooth loss.
As part of every routine dental examination that we perform, we screen for the signs of grinding and clenching. To find out more about the TMJ treatment we provide at Crown Dental Group, please have a look here.