How TMJ Can Screw up Your Diet

When you have temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or sometimes TMD), you may find your eating patterns are shifted dramatically. This can be very hard to deal with, causing several serious health effects.

Weight Gain

If you have jaw pain or dysfunction, you might decide to switch to soft foods that are easy to eat. Most of these foods are preprocessed junk foods, which might include cake, ice cream, and fast food meals. Sure, it’s easy to eat these foods with jaw problems, but they are full of salt, fat, and sugar, making it surprisingly easy to pack on the pounds.

If you need soft foods while you are dealing with TMJ, try to learn some good recipes you can prepare at home so that you can control what goes into them, and avoid the temptation to always eat junk food just because it’s soft and easy.

Woman with jaw pain, trying to eat an apple

Weight Loss

Many people with TMJ experience the other problem: weight loss. Eating becomes too difficult and painful so people just stop eating or eat very little. Although weight loss might seem a benefit at first, it can quickly become dangerously unhealthy.

If you’re not able to eat much, try to make it calorie-intensive. Healthy fats and proteins can quickly increase your caloric intake. Grind seeds or add whey to your foods to easily increase calories without adding much bulk.

Protein shakes and smoothies can really help here, if you can use a straw


People with TMJ most often cut out fresh fruits and vegetables because they’re crunchy and hard to eat. The problem is that this is most people’s primary source of dietary fiber, which can lead to constipation. Use soluble fiber supplements to help keep your digestive tract in shape, and consider adding fruit nectars that have fiber as well as juice.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Fresh fruits and vegetables are also most people’s source of many essential vitamins and minerals. If you’re substituting smoothies and juices, you might get a lot of them, but you might still be short. Consider taking a multivitamin. If you are having difficulty swallowing multivitamins (some are quite large), consider adding powdered multivitamin to your drinks.

If you are tired of living with TMJ and are looking for TMJ treatment in Denver, please call (303) 759-5652 for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at Park Meadows Dental Care.