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Softer Diets Are Key to Easing TMJD Pain

Posted Jun 16 2009 5:11pm

It sounds too simple, but it's indisputable: Eating a softer diet is a key element in easing jaw pain.

By softer diet, I don't mean pureed foods, oatmeal and a steady flow of soup, milkshakes, and margaritas! There are many items one can eat when one is experiencing TMJD, and many of these foods are meals that everyone in the family will enjoy also.

One of the best items to consider eating, not surprisingly, is beans, which are full of protein and fiber. The benefit here is that most people suffering from severe bouts of TMJD are unlikely to be able to chew meat, particularly if it's the least bit tough, stringy, or "chewy." Beans, however, provide an array of important nutrients (including protein); they're easy on the budget, and they can be made into a myriad of tasty dishes. (For added nutrition, add a quarter cup of lentils the last hour of cooking.)

Hopefully, one will not resort to canned beans which are often high in sodium and who knows what else to "preserve freshness." Beans do take time to cook, however, so if time is a problem, try using a crockpot to prepare them. The beans can cook all day on low and will be ready to serve when you're ready to eat. You Can Conquer TMJ:Ideas and Recipes includes numerous, easy-to-cook, easy-to-chew recipes, including many tasty bean and lentil dishes.

Besides beans, another easy-on-the-jaw-and-pocketbook item is pasta in all its glorious shapes, sizes and colors. While pasta is admittedly high on the glycemic index, the dish is still worth serving because of its versatility. It can be served chilled, hot, plain, with sauces, as a side dish, main dish, etc.

If pasta is strictly off limits, You Can Conquer TMJ:Ideas and Recipes has a plethora of fish menus. Fish is usually chewable by all but the most critically ailing TMJD sufferers.

One may need to eat a softer diet to achieve relief for jaw pain for many months - sometimes up to a year. However, one will most likely experience substantial easing of pain after eight weeks on a softer diet. The key, however, is to maintain watchfulness about what one eats long after the pain is gone. TMJD is a disorder that is likely to flare again.
You Can Conquer TMJ: Ideas and Recipes, considered by many to be the gold standard in TMJD cookbooks, is available at, and

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