Clicking, popping and stiffness. Headaches, backaches and tinnitus. Soreness and an immovable jaw. These are the signs of the debilitating condition temporomandibular joint disorder, and believe it or not, what you do and don’t eat can make the symptoms feel a whole lot worse.
Whether you are one of the estimated millions of sufferers of temporomandibular joint disorder or you just experience occasional jaw stiffness or soreness, here are a few foods you may want to consider avoiding to help alleviate jaw pain.
With the popularity of low-carb and Keto diets, jerky is making a comeback in a big way. But unfortunately, tearing that dehydrated meat with your teeth is a recipe for disaster when it comes to temporomandibular joint disorder. If you’ve been indulging in this high-protein treat and are experiencing increased jaw pain or temporomandibular joint disorder symptoms, it may be time to put the jerky on hold for a while and find an easier-to-chew snack.
Gum drops, gummy bears, gummy worms, fruit snacks – they all have different names, but when it comes to consuming these sweet treats, the effect on your temporomandibular joint disorder is usually the same. Because of the chewy nature of these snacks, they can really worsen jaw pain, even if they don’t seem like they are hurting you at the time of consumption. If you have temporomandibular joint disorder or jaw pain, pass on the gummies and stick to fresh fruits instead.
Chips and Pretzels
Sure, they’re a delicious way to kick a salt craving, but chips and pretzels can often be a bit too crunchy for some jaws – especially those with TMJ disorder or general soreness. If you really want to crush that crunch craving, stick to something softer like celery or crackers.
We feel bad advising you to avoid carrots, because these tasty little root veggies are so good for you. So we won’t flat-out suggest you avoid them all together. If your jaw is acting up and you still want carrots, try eating them steamed or opt for their softer counterpart, baby carrots – cut into small, bite-sized pieces.
While some varieties of granola can be very soft, other kinds can be really crunchy – and really tough on your temporomandibular joint. If you are experiencing jaw pain and can’t quit your granola habit, try mixing it with milk or yogurt to soften it up. You’ll get the same great taste but without the jaw workout.
To learn more ways to better manage your temporomandibular joint disorder, please call Dr. Allison Lesko’s office at 970-812-0355.