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Jaw Problems: Changing Your Diet

Topic Overview

Changes in your diet can reduce the mechanical stress on your temporomandibular (TM) joint and may help relieve your jaw pain.

  • Avoid hard or chewy foods (such as popcorn, jerky, tough meats, chewy breads, gum, and raw apples and carrots) that cause your jaws to work overtime. Choose softer foods that are easy to chew, such as eggs, casseroles, yogurt, and soup.
  • Cut your food into small, bite-sized pieces and chew slowly.
  • Don't chew gum for long periods of time.

If your jaw hurts when you eat a certain food, avoid that food for a week or more until any pain in your jaw is gone.

If your joint becomes too painful to allow chewing, or if it locks, you may need to puree your food in a food processor for a few days or weeks.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
Last Revised January 11, 2012

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