There is an old saying that you are what you eat. You can take that a step further by saying what you eat controls how you feel. If you suffer from TMJ pain, the food you choose to put in your body plays a significant role in how well you manage your pain. Understanding how different foods affect your TMJ an make life a lot easier.
What the TMJ Does
There are two ways to look at how the food you eat can affect your TMJ. TMJ is the joint that connects your lower jaw to the skull. It allows you to open and close your mouth. When you chew food, you are using your TMJ and the muscles that surround it.
People feel pain in the TMJ for a variety of reasons. For some, weakness in the joint leads to pain when opening and closing the mouth. For others, the joint is not properly aligned at all times. If you look at the different foods that you eat, you can start to see how they can either increase the amount of pain you feel or decrease the pain.
The Good and Bad of Diet
The food you choose can have both a good and bad impact on TMJ pain. When a diet includes hard foods or foods that are difficult to chew, that can increase the amount of pain in the TMJ. Chewing gum or other sticky foods can also stress the joint. Any foods that put excess stress on the joint when chewing will lead to more pain.
Food can also help with managing TMJ pain. A diet that includes more soft foods will put less stress on the joint. That is one way to help manage the pain, but following a healthy diet can also help. A good diet can help strengthen the muscles and the TMJ. The stronger it is, the less pain you will feel.
Finding the right diet is important when managing TMJ pain and many other areas of the body. For more help learning how to manage your TMJ pain, contact our office to schedule an appointment today.