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Could Something You Eat Cause Pain in Your TMJ?


Posted on 2/20/2017 by Manhattan Maxillofacial Surgery Group
A woman suffering from TMJ, because of her food!
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a crucial part of your face. This joint in the point at which your upper and lower jaws meet. It allows your mouth to open, chew, speak and move your lower jaw from side to side.

Suffering pain in this joint can greatly impact your quality of life. But could it be caused by something you eat?

TMJ Pain

Pain in your jaw and the TMJ points to temporomandibular disorder (TMD). TMD affects all aspects of your jaw. You may find it difficult to open your mouth. Chewing and speaking suddenly become painful chores. Your jaw may even lock open or shut. And certain foods could be aggravating the symptoms and causing you agony.

Oversized Foods
The United States is well known for its oversized foods, such as burgers and sandwiches. These foods force you to open your mouth wide just to get a bite. Doing this stretches the joint, and if it is inflamed, you will most likely receive a jolt of pain.

Crunchy
Hard, crunchy foods cause you to exert excess force and require you to chew more. These foods include - chips, cereal, raw vegetables, hard candies, even ice. The extra force and chewing action irritates an already irritated joint, which, in turn, can make you miserable with each bite.

Chewy
Chewy foods do exactly what their adjective implies, they require you to chew. As previously mentioned, overusing your jaw adds extra irritation that your TMJ cannot handle. Anything like gum, steak, even certain breads (including pizza) can be too chewy and therefore cause you pain.

TMJ Diet

Avoiding foods that can aggravate your TMJ can save you a lot of pain and suffering. But there is still plenty that you can eat. Stick to softer foods. Soft breads, vegetables, fruits, oatmeal, eggs, cottage cheese, and yogurt.

Altering your diet can help alleviate TMJ pain. But if your symptoms persist for longer than a week, contact our office to schedule an appointment.


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Dr. Del Valle and Dr. Shahgoli offer this blog to our patients and the community. Our hope at Manhattan Maxillofacial Surgery Group is that our blog will cover the subjects that you and your family may be interested in.
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