Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) occurs when your joints and chewing muscles are so inflamed and sore that you can actually have trouble eating. This could be downright tragic during this time of year, when food tends to be an important part of every upcoming holiday. Your TMJs are located on each side of your head, connecting your lower jaw to your skull. As TMD discomfort flares up, you may feel frustrated with the prospect of nourishing yourself. Your body is hungry, but your chewing muscles are screaming in pain. Your Des Moines dentist, Dr. Steve Burds, has some recommendations on how to deal with any kind of jaw pain.
Avoid These Foods
If you suffer from jaw pain, we probably don’t need to tell you that you should lay off recipe items that are hard to chew. Steer clear of raw vegetables, apples, jerkies, corn-on-the-cob, turkey legs – anything that causes you to open your mouth wide or chew through tough morsels. Certain foods can even ignite your TMJ troubles in less obvious ways. One example is salicylates. These compounds are found in such foods as jellies, jams, olives, hot peppers, tomatoes, radishes, and many juices. Dental Health Magazine says this substance can aggravate TMD. You also may want to stay away from dairy based foods, sugar, yeast, wheat, and preservatives.
Try These Foods
You may not be the biggest fan of organ meats, but this variety of animal protein has been shown to help improve TMD symptoms in some studies. Red meat may do the same thing, but the problem is the amount of chewing usually necessary in consuming most beef products. Also counter-intuitive, fat (even moderate amounts of saturated fat) can quell your TMD discomfort. The best course is more obvious: stick to soft foods when you are in jaw pain. Mashed potatoes, tofu, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, pudding, yogurt, well-cooked/mashed vegetables, and bananas can all give nourishment without pain.
TMJ Help from Des Moines Dentist
If you have jaw pain, you can contact our 50309 dental office by calling (515) 244-9565. Located in the 50309 area, we proudly welcome patients from Des Moines, River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and neighboring communities.