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Jaw Problems: Changing Your Diet - Topic Overview

Changes in your diet can reduce the mechanical stress on your temporomandibular (TM) joint and may help relieve your jaw pain.

  • Avoid hard or chewy foods (such as popcorn, jerky, tough meats, chewy breads, gum, and raw apples and carrots) that cause your jaws to work overtime. Choose softer foods that are easy to chew, such as eggs, casseroles, yogurt, and soup.
  • Cut your food into small, bite-sized pieces and chew slowly.
  • Don't chew gum for long periods of time.

If your jaw hurts when you eat a certain food, avoid that food for a week or more until any pain in your jaw is gone.

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Saliva is a clear, watery liquid made by several glands in your mouth area. Saliva is an important part of a healthy body. It is mostly made of water. But saliva also contains important substances that your body needs to digest food and keep your teeth strong. Saliva is important because it: Keeps your mouth moist and comfortable Helps you chew, taste, and swallow Fights germs in your mouth and prevents bad breath Has proteins and minerals that protect tooth enamel and prevent tooth...

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If your joint becomes too painful to allow chewing, or if it locks, you may need to puree your food in a food processor for a few days or weeks.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 11, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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