TMJ Soft Food Diet For Health
Temporomandibular joint disorders (also known as TMJ disorder or TMD) are a group of disorders that cause dysfunction and pain in the temporomandibular joints and jaw muscles that control jaw movement. If your temporomandibular joint is inflamed, injured or in pain, it can be difficult to open your mouth or chew your food, often because your jaw is locked. These types of jaw problems arising from TMJ disorder and bruxism, make essential activities like eating well, difficult.
Eating is one of the joys and necessities of life. A healthy diet is essential for good health and nutrition. However, those suffering with TMJ problems who experience jaw pain, may not tolerate a normal healthy diet. They often rely on soft foods that are not enjoyable or healthful. It can be challenging to plan a well-balanced soft foods diet. Poor dietary choices can lead to weight loss due to lack of interest in eating, or weight gain due to a highly processed diet that’s high in calories and low in fiber and nutrients.
Jaw pain and stiffness can make chewing painful or impossible. And if you’re eating the wrong foods, you may worsen your condition. A soft food diet is what registered dietitians recommend when experiencing chronic jaw pain. However, the quality of soft food choices makes a difference in your health and wellness. If you choose highly processed foods with poor nutritional value, you put yourself at risk of developing other health problems. However, making proper dietary choices can improve inflammation and promote healthy bones and joints.
Hard, tough and chewy foods can overload the jaw muscles, damage the joints and exacerbate the pain. Stress is a common trigger for TMJ jaw pain, and the food you eat can cause severe pain and stress that can take days to resolve. Avoid bagels, crusty breads, chewing gum, sticky foods, apples, skin of hard fruits, tough meats, nuts, raw vegetables and ice.
Soft foods minimize excessive stress and strain on the joints and muscles and allow the joints to have a chance to heal. Avoid soft foods with poor nutrition such as pudding, white bread, soft rolls, cakes, shakes, donuts and pancakes. Include nutrient-rich soft foods like scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, bananas, ricotta cheese, baked fish, potatoes, stewed fruits, legumes, pasta, low-fat plain yogurt, kefir, stewed chicken, peas, unsweetened applesauce, tofu and well-cooked vegetables. It’s important to take small bites and eat slowly.
Eating a soft food diet for a prolonged period of time may weaken the jawbone, which can harm your teeth. Strong bones and healthy joints and muscles in the jaw are important for overall dental health. You can try eating a soft food diet for a week to see if your muscles relax and jaw pain subsides. While a soft food diet may be part of a short-term solution, it is important to make healthful choices with a well-balanced selection of food choices.
Each food group (fruits, vegetables, grains and starchy foods, milk, proteins) provides your body with different nutrients, so make sure to add a variety of foods to your diet for the best results. If your jaw is not feeling better after a week of soft food, it is time to talk to a TMJ specialist about the temporomandibular joint and a registered dietitian about your diet.
While eating soft foods is a good start, make sure to include anti-inflammatory food choices since TMJ disorder causes inflammation. Choose seafood twice a week that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids like wild-caught salmon. Other anti-inflammatory foods include spinach (think smoothies), freshly pressed extra-virgin olive oil, tomato-based sauces and purees, berries and avocados.
If you are overweight, weight loss can help reduce pain in all parts of the body, including the jaw. In this case, stick to a low-fat diet. Ice cream, cakes and fast-food meals are easy to eat with painful jaws but are low in nutrients and rich in unhealthy fats, salt and sugars. When jaw problems occur, such as general jaw pain or jaw pain, it can be difficult to eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains and other fiber-rich foods that are essential for a healthy diet. Soups and smoothies are a good way to prepare fiber-rich foods when having jaw problems.
A well prepared meal is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Don’t let jaw pain and jaw problems stop you from preparing nutritious and delicious meals made with soft plant-based foods rich in nutrients and antioxidants.
What is TJz Balm™?
An OTC organic night-time topical pain relief balm made with 100% botanical ingredients with natural moisturizing properties that soothe and relax delicate areas around the jaw, neck and behind the ears. This FDA-OTC drug contains a unique formula derived from seven plants including organic lavender, ginger, and jojoba.
TJz Balm™ is manufactured in the USA with global ingredients, is dermatologist reviewed and GMO-free, and uses no animal-testing. Our hands-free massaging applicator helps to relax the jaw while applying the pain relief balm. PCO certified organic and eco-friendly with BPA and phthalate-free packaging.
Food photo created by bublikhaus at www.freepik.comWritten by TJz Staff Registered Dietitian