Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJ) affect the jaw muscles and the joints that connect your lower jaw to the skull. This disorder causes jaw discomfort and pain when you try to open or close your mouth. You may hear a clicking sound when you try to open your mouth and experience other symptoms such as headache, facial pain, earache, and the pain may even radiate to the neck and shoulders.
Poor posture, chewing hard foods, lack of sleep, stress, poor diet, etc. can worsen these symptoms. If you are experiencing TMJ symptoms, your dentist will check whether your bite is correct, or if teeth grinding while sleeping is the cause behind this problem. You will be given a mouth guard to use while sleeping. You can also take some corrective measures of your own, including diet modification. Diet plays a very important role in TMJ treatment, and a correct diet will provide faster relief. Take a look at some of the dietary measures that can be taken for TMJ treatment.
Ideal Diet For TMJ Treatment
It is best to give your jaw muscles rest when you are suffering from severe symptoms of TMJ in the initial stage. Have more fluids during this phase as these will not put extra strain on your jaw muscles.Vegetable soups, chicken broth, and freshly squeezed fruit juices will provide you with the necessary nutrition while providing rest to your jaw. Also, drink plenty of water throughout the day.
2. Eat Soft Foods
Soft foods are the best diet for TMJ. Avoid foods that are hard and crunchy. You will need to chew a lot and take larger bites, which can aggravate the symptoms of TMJ and worsen your condition. So, it’s best to avoid foods such as raw vegetables, sandwiches, popcorn, chips, etc. Instead, have soft foods such as scrambled eggs, porridge, mashed potatoes, fruit smoothies, milk shakes, and yogurt. Cook the vegetables well before eating them.
3. Magnesium Rich Foods
Magnesium helps relax your nervous system and is very beneficial for those suffering from TMJ. It can help relax your jaw muscles and provide relief from the symptoms of TMJ.So, include lots of magnesium rich foods such as dark leafy greens, nuts and beans, lentils, bananas, avocados, dried fruits, low fat dairy, etc. in your daily diet in order to treat TMJ.
4. Consume Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Include lots of anti-inflammatory foods in your daily diet in order to treat TMJ. Cold water fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are rich sources of omega3 fatty acids and have strong antioxidant properties. Having these fish regularly will help reduce inflammation and provide relief from the symptoms of TMJ. Colored vegetables and fruits such as berries, peppers and broccoli are also good for you. Onions and garlic should be added to your daily cooking and salads.
5. Foods To Avoid
Research studies have confirmed that a connection exists between TMJ and allergies. So, it’s best to watch your diet and eliminate foods that you are allergic to.It is observed that people who drink more coffee tend to clench their jaw most often. So, caffeine elimination can also help treat TMJ. Reduce sugar intake and avoid foods that contain preservatives, yeast or sugar.