What to Eat When Your Jaw Hurts

What to Eat When Your Jaw Hurts

Dealing with jaw pain can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience. Whether it’s due to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), a dental issue, or an injury, the pain can make eating a challenge. However, it’s important to nourish your body even when your jaw hurts. Here are some foods you can eat that are gentle on your jaw while still providing essential nutrients:

1. Smoothies: Blending fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and protein powder into a smoothie is an excellent way to get a nutritious meal without putting stress on your jaw.

2. Soft fruits and vegetables: Opt for soft and easily chewable options like bananas, avocados, cooked carrots, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli.

3. Soups and broths: Warm soups and broths are not only soothing but also require minimal chewing. Choose ones with soft vegetables, tender meat, or pureed options for added comfort.

4. Yogurt and pudding: These creamy treats can be a great source of protein and calcium while being gentle on your jaw. Choose low-sugar options for better health benefits.

5. Oatmeal and porridge: These warm and soft meals are easy to eat and can be customized with toppings like berries, honey, or nuts for added flavor and nutrients.

6. Soft proteins: Cooked and tender meats such as fish, eggs, ground turkey, or tofu can provide necessary protein without requiring excessive chewing.

7. Smooth nut butters: Spread some peanut or almond butter on a soft bread or mix it into your smoothie for a protein-packed snack.


1. Can I eat crunchy or hard foods when my jaw hurts?
It’s best to avoid crunchy or hard foods as they can exacerbate the pain and strain your jaw.

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2. Are there any specific foods to avoid?
Yes, it’s best to steer clear of hard candies, tough meats, chewy foods, and sticky candies that may worsen the discomfort.

3. Can I drink hot beverages?
Hot beverages like tea or coffee can be consumed, but be cautious as they can cause sensitivity or pain if the jaw is inflamed.

4. Should I stick to a liquid-only diet?
While a liquid-only diet may be necessary for a short period, it’s important to incorporate soft solid foods for balanced nutrition.

5. Is it okay to use a straw?
Using a straw for sipping may put unnecessary strain on the jaw, so it’s best to avoid it if possible.

6. Can I have spicy foods?
Spicy foods can irritate the jaw and cause discomfort, so it’s advisable to avoid them until the pain subsides.

7. How long should I follow this diet?
Consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice, but typically, you should follow this diet until your jaw pain significantly improves.

Remember, proper nutrition is crucial for healing and overall health. However, if your jaw pain persists or worsens, it’s essential to seek medical attention for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.