The Direct Link between Nutrition and TMD

It makes sense, if any part of your mouth – jaw or teeth, for example – are in pain, it’s going to impact what you choose to eat or what you avoid.  In the moment, you simply look for an option that’s not going to provoke pain. However, that’s simply not a legitimate long-term solution. Those who suffer from TMD – a condition where the jawbone and the facial ligaments and muscles surrounding it lock, or are tender, swollen and dysfunctional – find themselves avoiding foods that are essential to their health.


This kind of avoidance can manifest itself in weight loss or weight gain based on the foods you are choosing to eat.  Food choices will vary based on how much pain you experience and where. For some, instead of reaching for nutrient-rich foods that require more chewing, they grab foods that are easier, but not necessarily healthier.


As a result, you are not only suffering from your TMD, your diet can trigger additional symptoms that can both, directly and indirectly, impact your comfort.  The ultimate goal is to address your TMD condition so that you can return to a normal, healthy diet free of pain. However, in the meantime, it’s important to remember and integrate the five principal food groups: fruits, vegetables, starches, protein, and dairy.


If you find that you can only maintain a soft food-based diet, at TMJ Centres we have some excellent recommendations of how to accomplish this with your health in mind. The following are some ideas to consider:


  • A deflaming diet which means no:
    • grains
    • sugar
    • dairy


  • Soft diet recommendations would be proteins like:
    • Eggs
    • Fish
    • Ground Beef
    • Cooked Vegetables,
    • Berries
    • Smoothies
    • Rice
    • Quinoa


Enjoying a well-balanced diet in spite of TMD is possible; however, addressing the source of your pain is just as possible.  Learn more about how to alleviate the painful symptoms you’re experiencing by visiting,



[VP3] – some information adapted from the booklet she has available on her site.