If you have a TMJ disorder, you already know how hard it is to live with. Even with the oral appliance to alleviate the pain and pressure in your joint, you may still have to deal with issues when you sit down for a meal. To help alleviate your TMJ disorder symptoms as much as possible, here are some foods to consider eating – and others to avoid – to keep you comfortable while you deal with TMD.
What You Should Eat
The trick to making it through your TMD symptoms as best you can is to get the care you need from any one of our Orthodontic Alliances locations, and then eat a diet that is rich in minerals and anti-inflammatory properties. Here are some specific foods to include in your diet if you are suffering from an active TMJ disorder.
Soft Foods – The benefit of eating soft food is in how it will reduce the stress on your temporomandibular joint. Undue stress on this joint is one of the contributing factors to TMJ disorder. Soft foods will minimize that stress and will allow your joint a chance to heal. You may also want to try to keep your meals small.
Fish – Eating a diet that is heavy on wild-caught fish will help to ease your pain by possibly reducing inflammation contributing to your TMJ disorder symptoms. Fish have Omega-3 acids that are proven to provide natural inflammation reduction and pain relief as well. You may be better off with this type of food making its way onto your menu regularly.
Steamed Veggies – Vegetables are some of the most amazing foods you can eat. They provide you with a host of vitamins and nutrients that are crucial to helping you live a happy, healthy life. These same nutrients can help you heal when you have an injury. Your TMJ pain may be greatly alleviated by the vitamin infusion that comes from eating an assortment of vegetables with your meals. Steaming them helps you get that needed nutrition while keeping the strain off of your joint by making the veggies soft.
Foods High in Magnesium – Magnesium is an amazing mineral. It has natural properties that can help you relax. This relaxing effect is a great way to release tension and stress from muscles and joints. Removing stress from your TMJ will do nothing but good things for the way it feels. Avocados, bananas, and dark chocolate are a few examples of foods that are magnesium rich. You will want to watch how much you eat as too much magnesium can result in diarrhea. Your diet should include about 400 mg of magnesium a day. Talk to your physician before you start this type of regimen to make sure there are no interactions with any other medications you are taking.
Protein Shakes – For many people who suffer from a TMJ disorder, eating in general is hard, but eating protein-rich foods can be especially difficult. Meat is the most common high-protein food and requires more chewing than other foods. If you have a TMJ disorder, it is important that you get your protein so that your body can use it to rebuild any muscle damage that might be in that area. A protein shake is a great way to get your protein and save your jaw from the abuse that might come from eating a burger or steak.
Foods You Should Avoid
To go along with the foods you should eat, here are some foods you should avoid if at all possible.
Caffeine – Caffeine dehydrates the muscles in your body. This can lead to an increase in muscle tension, which may lead to more pain in your TMJ.
Alcohol – When you drink, you will be more likely to grind your teeth while you sleep. Grinding your teeth is one of the worst things you can do for your TMJ disorder. The added stress on the joint is tremendous.
Chewy Candy – The work it takes to eat foods like caramel or to chew gum may exasperate the TMJ disorder you are battling.
Hard-to-Chew Foods – Meats, anything dried, jerky, and hard fruits should be avoided. You can cut up the fruits into smaller, easier-to-eat pieces, but things like jerky should be avoided at all costs. It will do nothing good for your condition.
For some, natural remedies just don’t work enough to provide the relief you need. Call us today at 219-809-6584 to schedule your appointment and find the best treatment for you.