If you frequently have jaw pain, grind your teeth, or hear clicking noises when you chew, you likely have a problem with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint, which connects your jaw to your skull, is key to everyday activities like speaking and chewing. So when TMJ pain flares up, it can be frustrating and make life difficult. In addition to seeking professional treatment, here are some dietary choices you can make that will support jaw health and ease your discomfort.
Do: Eat Soft Foods
Give your TMJ a break by sticking to soft foods. Things like scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, smoothies, and soup are helpful options when you need to reduce strain on your jaw. Hard, crunchy foods, like nuts or carrots, will aggravate your TMJ and prolong your jaw soreness.
Avoid: Chewy, Sticky Foods
Stay away from foods that require a great deal of chewing, like bagels, tough meat, or gummy candy. One item that’s sure to wreak havoc on an already tender TMJ is gum. If you need to freshen your breath on the go, carry xylitol mints or a travel-sized bottle of mouthwash instead.
Do: Prioritize an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Your dietary choices can also ease TMJ pain from the inside out. Incorporate more foods with anti-inflammatory properties to help ease jaw tension. Nutrient-rich foods like fatty fish, leafy greens, berries, and ginger contain vitamins and antioxidants that promote healthy joints.
Avoid: Excessive Caffeine
One of the main causes of TMJ disorder is bruxism, the clinical term for clenching your jaw. Bruxism is often made worse by caffeine, which can increase stress or anxiety. Limit caffeine intake by opting for herbal tea instead of espresso to alleviate pressure on your TMJ.
Professional TMJ Treatment in Spring Lake, NC
Making thoughtful changes to your diet can help with TMJ discomfort, but if you decide to seek professional TMJ treatment, come see the team at Spring Lake Oral Surgery. We will evaluate your symptoms and facial structure before recommending a personalized plan, which may include orthodontics, a nightguard, and jaw exercises. Don’t live with TMJ pain any longer—schedule a consultation today!Image by mrsiraphol on Freepik