If you have chewing problems, you’re not alone. 1 out of 10 people suffer from some form of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) pain, which can cause pain and difficulty chewing. After all, the TMJ is the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. When it’s not functioning correctly, you may experience pain not only in the jaw but also in the head, neck, and shoulders.
If you’re dealing with chewing problems, here are some tips to help you get relief.
Avoid hard foods.
If you have chewing problems, it’s essential to avoid hard foods. Hard foods can damage your teeth and make it difficult to chew correctly, as they’re tough on your teeth and jaw. Instead, focus on soft foods that are easy to chew. Soft fruits, vegetables, cooked grains, and mashed potatoes are good choices.
You should also avoid sticky foods, like caramel or gum, as they can adhere to your teeth and cause decay. Focusing on soft, easy-to-chew foods can not only help protect your teeth and ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need but can also help avoid chewing pain.
If you have trouble chewing, taking your time when eating meals is essential. This will allow your teeth and jaw to work carefully and help you avoid choking or aspirating food into your lungs. When you hurry at the table or quickly finish your plate, it can be difficult to take small bites and chew thoroughly. Instead, you may find yourself taking faster bites and chewing more rapidly, leading to both indigestion and stressing out your teeth and jaw.
Additionally, it’s essential to take the time to cut your food into small pieces so that it’s easier to chew.
Consider getting replacement teeth.
When you have problems with chewing because of missing teeth, it can be challenging to know what to do. Many people think they need to just deal with the pain and hope it will be bearable. However, this is not always the best option if you have one or more missing teeth.
If you are having constant and intense difficulty chewing, it may be time to consider getting replacement teeth. There are a variety of options available, and your dentist can help you choose the best one for your needs. In some cases, you may only need a partial denture or bridge.
However, if your tooth loss is more extensive, you may need a full denture. Regardless of which option you choose, getting replacement teeth can help you regain your ability to chew properly. As a result, you’ll be able to eat the foods you love and enjoy a better quality of life.
Practice good posture.
You might be surprised to find this out, but one of the reasons you might have difficulty chewing is poor posture. Poor posture can worsen pain while chewing because it can put extra strain on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), as well as the muscles and ligaments that support it. If you already have TMJ pain, consider improving your posture as one way to help reduce your symptoms since bad posture can lead to further inflammation and pain.
Maintaining a good posture while sitting, standing, eating, and sleeping can help take the pressure off of the TMJ and allow it to heal. Sitting up straight and keeping your head level with your shoulders may very well help you to chew more carefully and properly. Try it out and see if it helps.
See a dentist or doctor.
In some cases, the best solution is to see a doctor, especially if you want to be prescribed medication or get other treatments that will provide relief from your symptoms. A doctor can provide a comprehensive evaluation and develop a treatment plan that addresses the underlying cause of the problem.
In addition, if you prefer a more natural approach, a doctor can also offer guidance on lifestyle changes that may help to reduce symptoms. If you’re dealing with chewing problems, don’t hesitate to seek out professional help. With the right treatment, you can enjoy relief and get back to enjoying your favorite foods.
Chew with your back teeth.
Your back teeth are stronger than your front teeth, so to make chewing easier, chew with your back teeth. The molars are larger and have a flatter surface, which makes them better suited for grinding food. In addition, the molars are less likely to be affected by gum disease and tooth decay.
If you’re dealing with chewing problems, you can do a few things to get relief. First, avoid hard foods and eat slowly to give your mouth a break. You should also chew with your back teeth and practice good posture while eating—this will help reduce pain associated with TMJ disorders. Finally, if self-care measures aren’t enough, see a dentist or doctor for additional treatment options.