Top 10 TMJ Friendly Items to Have in Your Pantry or Freezer

Do you ever find yourself stumped in the grocery store, wondering what type of foods to buy that you can (and will) actually eat when your jaw is hurting?

Here is a list of our favorite stand by foods… things you could always have in the pantry if you have TMJ disorder. This could also be a place to start when preparing for a surgery. We always find that it is SO much easier to do all of your shopping before the surgery rather than trying to figure out what you need after, and then sending someone else to go get it.Shopping for TMJ Friendly Foods

  1. Protein powder – Preferably from a health food store (grocery stores don’t usually offer a big selection). We find that many patients are really picky when it comes to what types of protein powder they like. See if you can sample them before committing to a big jar.
  2. Instant gravy packets or pre-made gravy in a jar. Chicken, beef, or veggie broth also works to make food softer.
  3. Cheddar cheese sauce (Ragu makes one) – this is a good way to replace grated or melted cheeses in a recipe you are trying to convert to liquid.
  4. Ice cream – vanilla is the most flexible. You could also try frozen yogurt, sorbet, and ‘alternative’ ice creams made from soy or coconut milk.
  5. Canned fruit nectar – Kerns is a good brand. My favorite is Strawberry Banana.
  6. Canned, frozen or fresh fruit for making smoothies or juices.
  7. Instant mashed potatoes – okay, okay! I know I always say “no more mashed potatoes,” but sometimes you just have to do it! ๐Ÿ™‚
  8. Pre-made smoothie mixes – Yoplait makes one, and V8 just came out with a bottled smoothie type juice. I also love Odwalla Superfood and Naked juices.
  9. Canned soups.
  10. Carnation Malted Milk – some people love it, some people hate it… but for me, there is NOTHING better than a vanilla malt. When I’m feeling kind of down because of pain, or when nothing sounds good to eat, I make a vanilla malt. Yum! ๐Ÿ™‚

What foods do you have stocked in your pantry? What is your go-to food when your jaw is hurting? Let us know and we’ll include your favs in our updated list!

About The Author


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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