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What Not to Eat If You Get a TMJ Diagnosis

Posted on 7/23/2020 by Huronia Oral Surgery Group
What Not to Eat If You Get a TMJ DiagnosisTMJ syndrome refers to a chronic condition in which sharp pain occurs in the temporomandibular joints, or jaw joints, and is one of several temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs) that occur in the face. More commonly known as simply TMJ, this condition is characterized by severe pain that typically comes and goes and doesn't get worse over time. However, there is a small group of people whose symptoms continue to worsen as they age. Pain can be centered in the jaw joints, or it may extend into the head and ears.

Foods to Avoid to Manage TMJ Pain

In order to control or prevent TMJ flare-ups, there are certain types of foods you should avoid. However, it's important to find replacements for some of these foods that are similar in nutrients.


Crunchy foods like popcorn, nuts, chips, crispy breads and hard vegetables like celery and carrots are difficult to chew and can lead to TMJ pain. Vegetables should still be an essential part of your diet, due to their flavonoid content that provides an anti-inflammatory substance in your body that can reduce TMJ pain. Vegetables can simply be cooked to a softer texture to ensure you're getting the nutrients you need from them.


Chewy foods cause your jaw to work overtime and include gum, caramel, tough cuts of meat and lobster. You can opt for softer foods like boiled eggs, yogurt, mashed potatoes, fish and poultry for protein and similar nutrients.


Fried foods, creamy sauces, red meat and pastries can increase inflammation in the body and lead to all types of pain, including TMJ pain. To receive the same kinds of textures and nutrients, choose low-fat milk and cheeses, yogurt and lean meats such as fish, chicken and pork.

Large Pieces of Food

With TMJ, it can be difficult to open your jaw more than a couple of inches. This can make biting into a sandwich or an apple very painful, for instance. It's best to cut larger foods into small pieces before trying to eat them, in order to reduce your TMJ pain.
Because the cause of TMJ is largely unknown, there are no known cures or foolproof prevention strategies.
If you are concerned about how your oral health may be affecting your TMJ, contact our office for a consultation.


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