10 Tips from TMJ Disorder Expert Patients

We have compiled this list of tips from a group of expert TMJ disorder patients..  simple things they do to make living with TMJ disorder and jaw pain easier.  We hope they help you!  As always, let us know in the comments below if you have your own tips or any suggestions.

  1. A bag of frozen peas or corn makes a great ice pack for your jaw! They can be molded to your face or jaw and stay cold for quite a while.  Just make sure you mark which veggies you are using as an ice pack so you don’t cook them for dinner! 🙂
  2. A coffee bean grinder is a good way to make crunchy, hard to eat items like roasted nuts, granola, and corn chips more edible if you have pain when chewing or a small opening.
  3. Smoothies can be pre-made in batches and frozen in ice cube trays. Then, pop them out of the ice cube trays and store them in zip lock bags in the freezer.  That way you have smoothies on demand and don’t have to destroy the kitchen every time you are hungry!
  4. A good blender can end up being your new best friend. After wearing a few out, we like blenders that have multiple speeds & levels.  Juicers are great too – just make sure you use organic fruits and veggies & clean them before juicing since you don’t want wax or chemicals in your juices!  When choosing a juicer, be very careful because this is one area that has not come out with a cheap version that still does a good job.  Magic Bullets (despite the cheesy infomercials!) can be handy to make single serving smoothies, soups, and other foods very quickly.  If you prepare by buying any of these items before your surgery, test drive them by making several meals and freezing them so you will have food ready to go when you get home.
  5. Rubber coated baby spoons are much easier to eat with than regular spoons if you have a small opening.
  6. Tofu is an excellent source of protein. And don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like it looks!  It takes on the taste of whatever it is spiced or paired with.  Silken tofu can be added to smoothies.
  7. Make sure you taste protein powder or meal replacement drinks before you commit to buying large quantities. Buy the smallest size you can online or visit a health food store and see if they will provide you with samples.  The last thing you want is a 100 ounce container of protein powder that makes you nauseated. Another quick tip: if regular protein powders don’t agree with you (usually made out of whey), there are alternatives like soy and hemp available.  There are also many new products that are much less chalky than protein powder has traditionally been.
  8. If you are having surgery or are in severe pain, you may want to consider buying clothes and pajamas that have large head openings or do not go over your head.
  9. After jaw surgery, don’t forget that you are still under construction. Proceed with caution….no chewy foods.  Your body is rebuilding itself and needs rest, protein, and good nutrients to recover.  An adult needs approximately 55-60 grams of protein daily, but more if they are recovering from surgery.  Consult with your doctor or nutritionist if you want to be sure you are getting enough to heal correctly.
  10. Don’t forget to laugh! After all, laughter is the best medicine.  A funny movie does wonders when you’re feeling down.

Do you have any tips that you have learned from having TMJD?  Share them with us!

About The Author

Stacy

Stacy is the Founder & Executive Director of TMJ Hope. After being mauled by a dog, she experienced severe jaw pain that was not relieved by conservative treatments. After several surgeries, she had TMJ total joint replacements in 2006.

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